Friday, April 22, 2011

Converse Unveils Basketball Courts at Atlanta's Historic Piedmont Park

/PRNewswire/ -- Today (April 21), CONVERSE Inc., unveils two new basketball courts at Piedmont Park in midtown Atlanta, Georgia, along with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell and NBA legend Julius "Dr. J" Erving. The Converse basketball court donation, consisting of one full court and one half court, is part of Converse's commitment to fostering community involvement through basketball in the city of Atlanta.

Marked with the iconic Converse Star Chevron logo, the basketball courts will provide youth with the opportunity to play basketball in an area that has not had courts before. Before the court presentation, Converse will hold its Open Gym session with Atlanta youth. Converse Open Gym, founded in 2007, provides an opportunity for kids to play basketball in a free, safe and unrestricted environment in major metropolitan markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami and Boston. Over 50,000 kids have been touched by this program nationally, 17,000 of which come from the city of Atlanta.

"Converse is thrilled to celebrate basketball and the donation of these courts with Piedmont Park Conservancy, as they continue to implement their Master Plan to enhance the park for future generations," said Geoff Cottrill, Chief Marketing Officer of Converse. "We have enjoyed working with the City of Atlanta over the past few years to help inspire children through the game of basketball, and are happy that basketball is now a part of this beautiful, historic park."

Since 2008, Converse has led and sponsored an array of community-based programs in the Metro-Atlanta area including, several Converse Open Gyms, and title sponsorship of The Health Education & Communication Center of Atlanta's (HECCA) HOOPATLANTA Bounce Back program. The Bounce Back program is a multi-tiered community program where Converse has donated over 5,000 basketballs to Atlanta's Parks and Recreation Department, Atlanta Public Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools and Dekalb County Schools and supports scholarship programs in the Dekalb County School System and Gwinnett County Public School System.

"Physical activity and sports participation help foster the social skills that our youth need, so we are excited about the new basketball courts at Piedmont Park and the fitness pilot programs Converse will begin to lead soon at our Centers of Hope," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "Converse was one of the first corporate supporters of the Centers of Hope campaign, and their contribution is one of the reasons why we were able to secure a portion of the funds needed to reopen our recreation centers."

This court donation is a result of a partnership with Piedmont Park Conservancy, The City of Atlanta's Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and The Health Education & Communication Center of Atlanta (HECCA).

In addition to the Piedmont Park basketball courts' unveiling, Converse is the title sponsor of the HOOPATLANTA Classic, Georgia's largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament. The tournament takes place April 23rd at the Georgia World Congress Center and fuses physical activity, the best in creative basketball match-ups and entertainment to create a unique experience for all.


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