New outside basketball courts to be built in storm ravaged Moore.
The Oklahoma City Thunder today announced its plans to rebuild the outdoor basketball courts at the sites of three schools destroyed in the May 20 tornado, reaffirming the team's commitment to its community and to the ongoing rebuilding process in areas affected by the outbreak of storms in this past spring.
Briarwood Elementary, Plaza Towers Elementary and Highland East Junior High Schools all experienced direct hits during the Moore tornado. For this school year, classes are being held in other locations while the schools are rebuilt.
All three schools will have their courts rebuilt, complete with Thunder branding, through funding from the Thunder Cares Foundation, the charitable arm of the Thunder that supports its community outreach programs.
"When the community lost these schools, they lost more than a place of learning for their children," said Dan Mahoney, vice president of Corporate Communications and Community Relations for the Thunder. "The school facilities, including the basketball courts, served as the heart of these neighborhoods, and we are pleased and proud to be a part of restoring these communities."
Plans for the rebuilding were unveiled prior to the team's annual Blue and White Scrimmage, which was held at Westmoore High School on Sunday afternoon. Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti spoke with the crowd about the impact Oklahoma City and its surrounding communities have had on the team, and the strong desire felt throughout the organization to respond as soon as the extent of the damage from this spring's storm was realized.
Mahoney added, "We made the commitment from the day the storms began to hold nothing back in responding to these communities' needs. But we have also committed to be a part of the long-term rebuilding process."
The Thunder Cares Foundation has previously helped fund three basketball-court refurbishments across the Oklahoma City metro area.