Jayson Gee, a stand-out athlete who graduated from Springfield South High School and is the University of Cincinnati’s Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach, attended the dedication Thursday.
Mounts told the News-Sun that there was an older court on the property for many years that was used frequently. For 17 years, H.O.P.E used the court for a free basketball camp and their teen center, Rock of Hope, used it for fun.
RELATED: Springfield South grad Gee, family’s story subject of book, documentary
“Over the years it had just deteriorated,” Mounts said. “There was just a need to upgrade it.”
The project, costing $90,000, was funded through First Christian Church in Springfield, and SportScape Builders in Marysville, Mounts said.
First Christian Church donated about $54,000 and SportScape Builders filled in the gaps, Drew McClary, the local and global missions minister at First Christian explained.
He said that for 11 years the church has done a special offering in December called, “Our Birthday Gift to Jesus.” Every year the church chooses a local or global partner to work with to identify a project that the special offering will fund.
“As a church we wanted to bring those funds back to Springfield,” McClary said.
RELATED: Springfield nonprofit expands, serves more meals to students and families
In previous years, McClary said the church helped with H.O.P.E’s basketball camp and “we saw how many kids come out and how many kids they have on weekly basis at their after school program and it just made sense.”
Mounts explained that SportScape Builders, the company that build the basketball court, decided to use their own funds to help “make it something special.” Children’s Rescue Center in Springfield donated the land.
“My hope is that it has a domino effect. That it will give some motivation to elevate things in that whole area and that everything moving forward that happens is the best, not a throw-off or second-hand,” Mounts said. “That’s my prayer. That’s my hope.”
McClary said the basketball court will give kids a safe place to play and something to take pride in.
“Investing in something good that already takes place in Springfield and showing kids that they matter and they are worth the investment” was the idea behind the project, he said.
Mount said she’s thinking of what it will mean for the kids.
“We’re excited for the community and kids to have this opportunity,” Mounts added.