Mar 25, 2013 12:14 PM
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA and Harlem Globetrotters alumni, will return to New Orleans on Saturday, April 6, 2013, to make good on a promise to both celebrate the completion of basketball court improvements at Oliver Bush Playground in the city's lower ninth ward and teach a few signature basketball moves to local youth for the occasion.
Arnie Fielkow, former New Orleans City Council President and the current President & CEO of the NBRPA, said he and NBRPA Members look forward to the opportunity. "The NBRPA - supported by both the National Basketball Association (NBA), and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) -is excited to return to New Orleans for a free community event and youth basketball clinic at Oliver Bush playground. We are proud of the contributions we made to the reconstruction of these courts," Fielkow said. "We are especially excited to announce that Eldridge Recasner, a native New Orleanian who grew up in the lower ninth ward and played at Oliver Bush as a youngster, will take the lead as our former NBA players participate in this community basketball clinic and picnic."
Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city welcomes partners like the NBRPA in rebuilding city assets. "The recently reopened Oliver Bush Playground symbolizes the city we all are working to become," Landrieu said. "The City is committed to the revitalization of the Lower Ninth Ward and this playground's $2.1 million renovation is just one of many important projects we will complete. I want to thank the National Basketball Retired Players Association for their generous donation to help fund the painting of the basketball courts at Oliver Bush. Embracing partnerships like these benefit the entire community."
District E Councilman James A. Gray II said "Supervised recreation isn't just play anymore. It's a vital tool in saving lives, in training our young people to compete as healthy citizens. Rebuilt playgrounds are an important part of that program. The residents of District E thank the Mayor, Arnie Fielkow and the NBRPA for their efforts to insure that our young people literally have a level playing field," he said.
In August 2012 the NBRPA, NBA and NBPA donated $25,000 to help the City of New Orleans finish a full reconstruction of the outdoor basketball courts at Oliver Bush Playground. The April 6 Dedication and Basketball Clinic, presented by SNR Denton Law Firm in partnership with the City of New Orleans, City Councilman James A. Gray II, and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, will give the former NBA players an opportunity to celebrate the courts that carry the logos of the NBRPA, NBA and NBPA. This event coincides with the NCAA Women's Final Four in New Orleans, adding to a laundry list of exciting basketball activities and community events in the Crescent City that weekend.
The timeline for the community event and youth basketball clinic at Oliver Bush Playground on April 6 is as follows:
2:00 p.m. Community event and registration for the free youth basketball clinic begins
3:30 p.m. Dedication of the newly-branded NBRPA, NBA and NBPA courts with New
Orleans City Officials, former NBA players and NBRPA President & CEO Arnie D. Fielkow
4:00 p.m. Free youth basketball clinic conducted by former NBA players, including New Orleans native Eldridge Recasner
Children participating in the clinic must be 8-14 years of age, but everyone - including parents and siblings - are welcome to come, listen to the music and picnic with the NBRPA and Councilman Gray.
NBRPA President Fielkow said the event would not have been possible without the association's partners." I would like to extend a special thank you to SNR Denton, the United Way of Southeast Louisiana and Councilman James A. Gray II of District E and the City of New Orleans for making this wonderful day of philanthropy and fun possible," Fielkow said.