The NBA and Discovery Kids en Español Partner to Celebrate Hispanic Culture...

The NBA and Discovery Kids en Español Partner to Celebrate Hispanic Culture and Encourage Latino Kids to Be Fit

Refurbished basketball court unveiled at The Boys’ Club of New York as part of Nationwide U.S. Hispanic initiative ‘Es tu Cancha (It’s Your Court)’


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New York, NY–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 19, 2006–NBA en Español, the National Basketball Association’s U.S. Hispanic initiative, and Discovery Kids en Español, the leading children’s network for U.S. Hispanic audiences, announced today the unveiling of the fully renovated basketball court at the The Boys’ Club of New York in Manhattan as part of the NBA Cares’ “Es Tu Cancha (It’s Your Court)” initiative, a community outreach program that focuses on refurbishing basketball courts in Hispanic neighborhoods across the country. Using basketball as a vehicle to promote physical activity, the program also targets the growing incidence of childhood obesity, which disproportionately affects Latino youth in comparison to non-Hispanic adolescents.

This restoration marks the 11th refurbishment in the NBA’s overall initiative to provide Latino kids and families with a safe and attractive place to play and be active, and the first as part of the league’s and Discovery Kids en Español’s joint renovation efforts in 2006. The unveiling of The Boys’ Club of New York will feature a variety of activities including the participation of former New York Knicks player, John Starks, and the Knicks Groove Truck. Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA kids from surrounding Hispanic neighborhoods will also participate in the event’s basketball activities, along with city officials who will join local families in “Es tu Cancha (It’s Your Court)” festivities.

“It is an honor for us to contribute to such a great cause in making our hometown a more attractive place for kids and families, while celebrating the community’s Hispanic heritage,” said John Starks, Alumni Relations and Fan Development Advisor for the New York Knicks. “We strongly believe in education, providing our city with safe playing environments and in promoting physical activity through basketball – and this NBA initiative does it all.”

The partnership with Discovery Kids en Español ideally combines education with well-being. While Discovery Kids en Español helps children understand their culture and encourage young viewers to participate in sports with programs such as Deportips, a series of shorts that feature famous Hispanic athletes sharing their insights on how to play better and safer, the NBA promotes healthy lifestyles through basketball.

“Discovery Kids en Español and the NBA continue to look for innovative initiatives to help bring a safe environment that combines education with sports for Hispanic kids and their families such as ‘Es Tu Cancha’,” said Luis Silberwasser, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Discovery Networks U.S. Hispanic Group. “This natural partnership between Discovery Kids en Español, which helps children understand their culture and learn Spanish with programming that is designed specifically for Hispanic viewers, and the NBA, which promotes healthy lifestyles through basketball, strengthens our commitment to the Hispanic community by facilitating and promoting the value and positive aspects of being active.”

Nearly one of four Latino children in the United States is overweight, and the problem is getting worse. Increasing obesity rates parallel the growing incidence of pre-diabetes and type II diabetes in overweight teens, particularly in American Indian, African American and Hispanic/Latino populations. Generally caused by a lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of the two, obesity in adulthood increases the risk of Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, arthritis and a general poor health status.

Research shows that a child who is active will have stronger muscles and bones, be less likely to become overweight, decrease the risk of type II diabetes or heart conditions and have a more positive attitude towards life. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), all children two years and older should get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on most, if possible all, days of the week.

The “Es tu Cancha (It’s Your Court)” court refurbishment program provides communities with safe and attractive playing environments that serve as a platform to encourage kids and their families to be physically active. Sports like basketball, played by boys and girls alike, can help in improving physical fitness, coordination and self-discipline, while offering children the opportunity to learn about teamwork – a valuable on and off-the court lesson.

As part of the NBA Cares “Es Tu Cancha (It’s Your Court)” initiative, NBA en Español partners with sponsors like Discovery Kids en Español and local NBA teams to select the appropriate neighborhoods, basketball courts and local contractor(s) to refurbish the courts. Once the area and exact location are selected, the project is carried out in two phases beginning with interior and exterior renovations which include resurfacing and polishing of wood floors, repainting of game lines and logos and backboard repairs/replacements. Once renovations are complete, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedicatory celebration takes place. The next court refurbishment is scheduled to take place in New Jersey in September.

About NBA en Español

The NBA’s U.S. Hispanic initiative, NBA en Español, is committed to the U.S. Hispanic community and truly understands the needs and interests of this audience. From its corporate employees to its players, the NBA has dedicated professionals in every section of its organization catering to this important segment. NBA en Español’s efforts comprise several different components – each one focused on reaching Latino fans through different vehicles and stages of life –entertainment, sports, business, fashion and education – on and off-line. Programs like Read-to-Achieve, Noche Latina, NBA.com/Español (http://www.nba.com/espanol), Esquina Latina and Es tu Cancha initiative allow us to communicate directly with Latinos, serve their communities and provide them with a unique Spanish-language NBA experience. With 16 Hispanic players, 11 teams in the top 10 U.S. Hispanic markets and one of the fastest growing Hispanic fan bases in U.S. professional sports – more than 67% of Hispanics are fans – NBA en Español is a leader in U.S. Hispanic sports marketing and community involvement.

About Discovery Networks U.S. Hispanic Group

Discovery Networks U.S. Hispanic Group is the leading provider of high quality factual and lifestyle programming for Spanish-speaking audiences in the United States. Distributing three distinct, standalone networks that offer content from Latin America as well as popular American programs transcreated for U.S. Hispanic audiences, the portfolio includes Discovery en Español, the premier factual network delivering content that stimulates, informs and empowers, giving viewers a fascinating look at the incredible and often surprising world from a Latino perspective; Discovery Travel & Living (Viajar y Vivir), the first lifestyle channel created for Spanish-speaking audiences in the U.S., serving as an in-home getaway to the best travel, food and style the world has to offer; and Discovery Kids en Español, the leading children’s network for U.S. Hispanic audiences, dedicated to bringing premium programming to families in a trustworthy environment that nurtures curiosity and creates lifelong learners. Discovery Networks launched Discovery en Español in 1998 in response to the growing demand for Spanish-language programming in the United States, and expanded the portfolio in 2005 to better serve the unique interests of Latino women, children and families with the addition of Discovery Kids en Español and Discovery Travel & Living (Viajar y Vivir).

For more information visit: http://www.nba.com/espanol / http://www.discoverykidsespanol.com

The NBA and Discovery Kids en Español Partner to Celebrate Hispanic Culture and Encourage Latino Kids to Be Fit