Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose has the rare opportunity of being a professional athlete for his hometown team. Yesterday he was back at Murray Park on the south side of Chicago, where he hooped it up as a youngster, to unveil a revamped playground and basketball court. ESPNChicago has the details.
The project resurfaced, repainted and expanded the old basketball court, replaced old backboards with new ones, installed padded goal posts and aluminum benches, and injected a feel-good vibe to one of the city’s most violent and economically challenged areas.
Rose’s sponsors included Powerade, which donated $20,000 to the restoration; Wilson Sporting Goods, which pledged $5,000 to new benches; Wasserman Foundation, which donated $5,000 to landscaping; and McDonalds, along with help from the Chicago Parks District and Parkways Foundation.
In addition to students from the elementary school Rose attended being present, residents from the neighborhood, Illinois Senator Jacqueline Collins, Illinois General Assembly House Member Mary Flowers, and Rose’s agent (former Bulls sharpshooter B.J. Armstrong) were in also on hand.
Here’s video of the event courtesy of NBC Chicago.
Whether you’re a Bulls fan or not it’s pretty hard not to like Derrick Rose. He has a humbleness about him, an appreciation of where he is, who has helped in along the way, and how far he’s come. The five month long project that began with Powerade initially pledging to contribute $25/point Rose scored during last year’s playoffs is now complete and will surely be put to good use by the children on hand and others from surrounding communities. Who knows, Rose may have helped to pave the way for the NBA’s next superstar.