On a breezy day in northwest D.C., Washington Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal joined young kids in orange shirts for drills and activities to celebrate the refurbished basketball courts at Banneker Recreation Center near Howard University.
Beal partnered with the Hoop For All Foundation over the past few months to bring the project to life .
“This is all them [Hoop For All]. This isn’t me,” Beal said during his remarks at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “The reason I’m standing here is to uplift them and what they do for this community. They’ve been here for years. Being young black students from Howard, they brought this idea to me.”
“The Banneker Basketball Court Refurbishment will enhance the recreation experience for thousands of Ward 1 D.C. residents,” said Hoop For All Foundation President Ayokunle Amoo. “This project will not only provide the community with a newly renovated court, but will also increase the health awareness among adolescents, youth, and adults. We are grateful for this opportunity and look forward to launching more cause-related courts.”
As Beal continues to give back to the D.C. community, it is his hope that the Banneker refurbishment project cements his legacy in the city.
“I was trying to figure out for so many years how I can leave a lasting impact on this city,” Beal shared. “I can meet every last one of you throughout the day and that would just be one experience. But I wanted something that you could go back to, something you could always revisit more than just one time. So when they [Hoop for All] brought the court idea to me, it was a no brainer.”
The health resources Hoop For All brings to the community is another reason why Beal was intrigued when the organization approached him to assist.
“I don’t speak much about this but my father suffers from kidney failure. Well he did. But now he is a diabetic. So to see what they do and how they highlight health resources, free testing, and getting awareness to what our community suffers from and we may not be aware of it, that’s huge.”
As part of the festivities, Hoop For All awarded scholarships to graduating seniors in the D.C. area attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The foundation also provided free health care resources for everyone in attendance.
Along with the court’s reopening, the event commemorated Juneteenth. This Juneteenth marked 157 years since the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in the United States.
“I’ve always wanted to work on a court project like this and Hoop For All made it happen,” Beal said. “I look forward to continuing to see the incredible work they do here in our community. Having this event take place during Juneteenth weekend is also special to me; our fight for social justice and equality continues.”
While the event was a success Bradley Beal and Hoop for All, the elephant in the room about his upcoming decision to stay with the Wizards or test the free agency market did not escape him. When the question came up, Beal revealed that he has made a decision but he is keeping it to himself for now.
His only comment when asked how he believes his situation will play out, “My situation? Crazy probably.”
And now all fans can do is wait to see how it plays out.
View photos from the Hoop for All/Bradley Beal collaboration: