Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yormark visited the renovated gym, which is used by the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, last week.
“It’s particularly meaningful to me to reinvest in the young people of Brooklyn and provide them with a positive environment,” said Yormark. “Our goal is to become part of the fabric of the community.”
The gym was last renovated 17 years ago and featured a recycled rubber floor. The gym, which is now black and white to match the Nets team colors, includes new bleachers and working scoreboard.
It took roughly two months to complete the renovations.
“To the kids, that's like two years,” said Shawonda Swain, Unit Director for the club. “It was a long time coming.”
The club offers more than just athletic programs, but it those programs that often attract kids to the club.
“The gym is important because the kids that might not normally participate in those types of programs will come to this,” she said, pointing at children participating in a basketball game.
Swain said it is the job of the staff to develop relationships with the children to get them into the other programs to make sure that they are going to school, eating right and become a well-rounded child.
“It’s so much better,” said 13-year-old club member Imanne Caroline of the new court. “It shows me the Nets really care about us.”