The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Halifax’s Dartmouth location got an assist from an NBA icon to help unveil a refurbished basketball court on Monday.
“They’re making a lot of noise,” said Jerome ‘Junk Yard Dog’ Williams, a former Toronto Raptors player. “I can tell they love it already.”
The renovations are courtesy of the Bank of Montreal and NBA Canada, which have partnered for the BMO NBA Courts Across Canada to do similar renovations in other communities.
The project also includes clinics to teach participants basketball skills.
Williams headed clinics during the day at the club, putting the participants through a series of drills.
Many of the first few young people who got to try out the court said they’re happy with it.
“I think that it’s really nice,” said Jacarden Pelley, 11. “I like the colours of the floor, and I like all the designs.”
Henk van Leeuwen, CEO of the club, said the original court was in “a pretty bad state of disrepair.”
The previous floor was installed nearly 20 years ago and had been worn through to the concrete.
“The kind of capital infrastructural renewal project that this would involve would be very difficult for a charity like us,” van Leeuwen said.
He added that the refurbishment “is a huge deal.”
The cost of the upgrades was not revealed.
Local politicians from all levels of government, including the mayor, attended the unveiling.