New York, NY–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 27, 2006–NBA en Español, the National Basketball Association’s U.S. Hispanic initiative, and McDonald’s, the official marketing partner of the NBA and leading food service provider in the U.S., announced today the unveiling of a fully renovated basketball court at The Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County in New Jersey 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 13th 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 second as part of the league’s and McDonald’s joint renovation efforts in 2006. The unveiling of The Boys and Girls Club of Hudson City will feature a variety of activities including the participation of New Jersey Nets guard Richard Jefferson, NBA Legend and former Nets player Albert King, the Nets dancers and Ronald McDonald. 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.
“The New Jersey Nets in conjunction with the NBA and McDonald’s are committed to providing a fun and interactive environment for families in local communities to learn about their condition and understand the importance of being healthy,” said Richard Jefferson of the New Jersey Nets. “The key to keeping kids of all ages at a healthy weight is taking a whole-family approach, making eating and exercising a family affair, and this program does just that.”
The partnership with McDonald’s ideally combines balanced diets with well-being. While McDonald’s offers a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients that can fulfill diverse dietary needs, the NBA promotes healthy lifestyles through basketball.
“As adults, we have an important responsibility to teach our children about the importance of living a balanced active lifestyle by balancing the foods you eat with the energy you expend,” said Rick Marroquin, Director of Marketing, McDonald’s USA. “McDonald’s applauds the NBA’s efforts to refurbish basketball courts so that children can enjoy the sport and stay active in their own neighborhoods.”
Statistics show that the percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate and it disproportionately effects certain minority youth populations. Nearly one of four Latino children in the United States is overweight, and the problem is worsening. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the Center for
Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, Hispanic adolescents between the ages of 12-19 were more likely to be overweight (23 %) than non-Hispanic White adolescents (14%). 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. 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 McDonald’s 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.