August 10, 2013

Nike, Jordan Brand Partner with Chicago Park District to Extend Free Basketball Skills Clinics Across the City

More Than 1,000 Kids Experienced “Chi League Parks” Programming this Summer; Opportunities will Continue through the End of the Year

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Scottie Pippen and Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly announced today that Nike and the Jordan brand will continue to offer free basketball skills clinics in neighborhood parks across the City through the end of the year as an extension of CHI LEAGUE PARKS weekend programming, ensuring youth in the city have a safe, healthy place to play basketball.

“I am excited that Nike is expanding and extending the CHI LEAGUE PARKS program with the Park District and will continue to work with our kids throughout the year,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The CHI LEAGUE PARKS clinics have become an invaluable resource and safe space offered to our young people, combining athletics with mentorship from positive role models to keep the children of our city healthy, active, and safe. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of our continued partnership.”

To date, more than 1,000 kids have participated in CHI LEAGUE PARKS clinics since Nike started offering the Saturday sessions June 15. With this extension and expansion to eight new neighborhood parks, additional youth can benefit from a top-notch, age-appropriate, basketball curriculum, and opportunities to visit with professional players and other role models in the sport.

“I’m excited that Nike and the Chicago Park District have come together to create a safe environment for kids to learn and play basketball in Chicago,” said Scottie Pippen. “As I've been involved this summer I've seen how powerful the program is, and I've encouraged Nike and the Park District to continue Chi League Parks.”

To celebrate the extension of Chi League Parks – originally slated to conclude Aug. 10 – the Chicago Park District and Nike held championship games for 10-to 13-year old  and 14-to-18-year-old athletes who participated in the skills clinics this summer.  Pippen and Kelly joined the games, held at Whitney Young High School.

“Nike has been a long-time supporter of the Chicago Park District,” said Michael Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO. “I’d like to thank them for expanding Chi Parks. Nike’s continued commitment speaks volume about their efforts to enhance the lives of this city’s children and young adults through sports and physical fitness.”

The Chicago Park District will host CHI LEAGUE PARKS clinics at various parks, accommodating 100 to 150 kids at each Saturday session, held from 10 am to 12 pm, and 12 pm to 2 pm.  A full schedule will be posted to the Chicago Park District web site, and individuals can register by visiting the parks in-person and selecting a 9- to 12-year-old or 13- to 18-year-old grouping.   A light breakfast or box lunch will be provided. 

CHI LEAGUE PARKS served as a cornerstone of several Nike's basketball opportunities this summer, including the nine-week CHI LEAGUE, an elite-level, pro-am Nike and Jordan Brand league featuring 10 teams, made up of the best Chicagoland amateur, college and professional players, and the CHI LEAGUE SCHOOL, a private developmental league that focused on advanced court skills as well as invaluable life skills.  The intense weekend sessions offered hoops workouts along with a curriculum featuring workshops led by experts from "Becoming A Man," and insights from sports-related professionals, all designed to showcase for athletes what exciting possibilities may exist after graduation from high school.