June 8, 2013

Mayor Emanuel and Nike Announce Free Basketball Clinics in Neighborhood Parks Across the City

Nike, Chicago Park District Partner to Deliver Free Clinics in Neighborhoods Across the City

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael Kelly announced today a new partnership with Nike that will offer new, free basketball skills clinics known as CHI LEAGUE PARKS in neighborhood parks across the City, giving Chicago's children a safe, healthy place to play this summer. The free basketball skills clinics will run every Saturday from June 15 to August 10, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Nike answered our call for business and residents alike to help support our youth and is a committed and strong partner to the city’s efforts to provide safe and productive opportunities for Chicago youth throughout the summer,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We have seen the success of the first session of Windy City Hoops with more than 1,200 kids participating in basketball programs. These free clinics will build on the success of Windy City Hoops program and increase the number of kids participating in safe and productive activities this summer.”

Nike’s CHI LEAGUE PARKS will offer free, age-appropriate basketball skills clinics at parks that are already hosting the Windy City Hoops program.  Nike will complement the top-notch basketball curriculum with visits from professional players and other role models in sports-related fields.

“Our Windy City Hoops program has already shown that basketball is a popular and positive sport for youth,” said Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael Kelly. “Partnering with Nike will give them another opportunity to engage and stay active in our parks.”

"CHI LEAGUE PARKS demonstrates Nike's commitment to inspire and enable Chicago's young athletes to maximize their potential on and off the basketball court," said Chris Jones, vice president, Nike central region.  "It's going to be a great summer for hoops."

The Chicago Park District will host the clinics at various parks, accommodating 100 to 150 kids each week, across an eight-week session.  The schedule is listed below, and individuals can register by visiting the parks in-person and selecting a 9- to 13-year-old or 14- to 18-year-old grouping.

  • June 15 – Ogden Park
  • June 22 – Jackson Park
  • June 29 – Fernwood Park
  • July 13 – Columbus Park
  • July 20 – Garfield Park
  • July 27 – Loyola Park
  • Aug. 3 – Franklin Park
  • Aug. 10 – Amundsen Park

Nike's basketball opportunities this summer also include 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.  The open, public games will be held everySaturday and Sunday at Whitney Young High School, with free admission and parking.  The CHI LEAGUE's June 15 season opener will feature appearances from professional players, including Chicago’s own Anthony Davis, now playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, as well as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who plays for the Charlotte Bobcats.

Nike has also invited a group of Chicago high school basketball players to join THE CHI LEAGUE SCHOOL, a private developmental league that will focus on advanced court skills as well as invaluable life skills.  The intense weekend sessions will offer 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 these athletes what exciting possibilities may exist for them off the court when they complete high school.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas announced the creation of the Windy City Hoops basketball league in February. Demonstrating the value of private, public, and nonprofit collaboration to support our youth, Sammons Financial Group, Gardner Family Foundation, Integrys Energy Services and GEM Capital Realty, Inc. as well as Chicago residents came together to donate funds for the program exceeding $450,000.

Open gym began in March, with official league play starting on April 19, running Friday evenings 7-10 p.m., and Saturday evenings, 5-10 p.m. Following the success of the inaugural season, Windy City Hoops open gym at all ten parks begins June 7 and the summer season runs June 14-Aug. 24.   Interested teens should visit www. chicagoparkdistrict.com or one of the ten participating park district sites.

The ten Windy City Hoops sites were spread across eight community areas chosen due to factors such as crime levels and the need for teen programming. They are:

  • Loyola Park (Rogers Park)
  • Amundsen Park (Austin)
  • Columbus Park (Austin)
  • Garfield Park (East Garfield)
  • Franklin Park (North Lawndale)
  • Kennicott Park (Kenwood)
  • Jackson Park (Woodlawn)
  • Ogden Park (Englewood)
  • Hamilton Park (Englewood)
  • Fernwood Park (Roseland)

Over the past year, the Park district has received close to 15,000 total registrations in its basketball programs - including open gym, leagues, instructional programs, and camps.