FLINT, MI – There’s a new first-choice pickup basketball spot in town.
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores’ FlintNOW Foundation, a private sector charitable organization that supports Flint residents, unveiled new basketball courts at Windiate Park during a Juneteenth event on Sunday, June 19.
“I’ve always believed the most impactful solutions come from people on the ground, in the community working together to make a difference,” said Gores, who grew up in Flint. “The tireless efforts of local residents to provide safe spaces for kids are truly admirable. I’m proud we could bring everyone together and leverage their vision and creativity to make Windiate Park a vibrant place for children to play.”
The renovated and redesigned basketball courts were designed by Flint native and artist Jamierson Green, in partnership with Shareka Howard of Howard’s Helping Hands in Genesee County.
Green, who founded Leader Quality, used inspiration from paintings and Howard’s input about the children who spend time at this park. The colorful mural reads “Where there is unity, there is strength.”
The artist recalled stories of playing basketball in Flint growing up.
“Man, it’s competitive. One thing about Flint is you better bring your A game and you better hoop, or else you are going to get embarrassed,” Green said. “They taught me how to be resilient and taught me how not to be afraid.”
Howard, who runs the family-owned nonprofit organization that adopted Windiate Park to rehabilitate it in 2014, called it Flint’s best mural.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to work together to create something positive,” Howard said. “We know that as long as we stand together and work together, we will succeed and make life better for our children.”
This is the first of three courts that will be renovated and redesigned in Genesee County as a part of a $100,000 grant that FlintNOW provided.
“Anytime we do anything, it is important that we have local ties. If we are going to give back to the community, we need to use vendors and promote resources that come from the community to tie it all together,” Erika Swilley, Pistons vice president of Community & Social Responsibility.
Courts at William Durant Park and Riverside West Park will also be refitted over the next 18 months.
Read more on MLive:
‘One of the greatest things to ever happen’: Flint renames Claressa Shields’ street after her
‘Still on the road to freedom.’ Early Michigan Juneteenth organizer reflects on 50 years
Kettering University Class of 2022 graduates at Atwood Stadium
BAU-HOUSE brings sneakers, streetwear and artists together at new downtown Flint business