Nike, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and Virgil Abloh Unveil Redesigned Basketball Facilities


Nike, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and Virgil Abloh Unveil Redesigned Basketball Facilities

Fulfilling its belief in spaces for play doubling as invitations for creativity and self-improvement, Nike is partnering with Virgil Abloh and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago to renovate the local chapter’s basketball court at the Martin Luther King Jr. location in East Garfield Park. The effort reflects a shared vision to support sport access and community building.

The club’s court, locker rooms and game room space have all been refurbished to provide a fun, positive space to play for the kids who live in the East Garfield Park neighborhood. Beyond the physical modifications of the space, Nike is also launching the Nike All-Star Academy, combining on-court skill work with hands-on learning in sport design, sport science and sport journalism. This will build upon existing community programming with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago through the Rise League and continue a commitment to youth basketball and community initiatives in the city.

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Abloh, who was raised in Illinois, is a familiar advocate for Chicago’s youth. Nike and Abloh joined together in May of 2019 to launch the NikeLab Chicago Re-Creation Center c/o Virgil Abloh. Since May, the space has sparked creativity among Chicago youth through mentorship, workshops, enablement programs and product customization. The partnership among Abloh, Nike and the Boys & Girls Clubs sends the designer deeper into Chicago’s heritage through a sport that uniquely galvanizes the city.

“This new court and programming not only extend our community work from the NikeLab Re-Creation Center, they provide a positive, free space for kids to engage in activities rooted in sport that will lead to an active healthy lifestyle and teach teamwork and the determination to succeed,” says Abloh.

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In communal approach, the partnership adds to the vision of the New York City’s Stanton Street Courts by Kaws and the 2019 series of Pigalle-inspired basketball courts in Paris, Beijing and Mexico City.

The court refurbishment was unveiled February 12 in the lead-up to NBA All-Star 2020, when Nike invited nearby members of the Boys & Girls Clubs and the local community to the space.

To download hi-res images, click here.

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