Oakland’s Ira Jinkins Recreation Center was buzzing with energy, June 6th as the NBA and Golden State Warriors held a ribbon cutting ceremony, officially celebrating East Oakland center as a NBA Cares Learn & Play Zone.
In partnership with Kaiser Permanente and State Farm, this makes the 1,274th learn and play zone space created by the NBA.
The brief program was hosted in the newly refurbished gym and hosted by veteran sportscaster and NBA TV host, Ahmad Rashad and civic and community leaders, along with Warriors players and executives, NBA and WNBA legends, and league and NBPA executives.
Following remarks from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Michelle Roberts (ED, National Basketball Players Assn), Rick Welts (GSW President & COO), and GSW Power-forward Draymond Green – everyone gathered for the official ribbon cutting.
Golden State Warriors players Alfonzo McKinnie and Damian Jones were also on hand participating in the learn and play activities, which included: reading with therapy animals, a cooking and healthy eating activity, a science project, self-love dance class, music making and video games.
The new Learn & Play Zone, which includes a multipurpose room, game room, study room, library and computer room, and features new technology, books, furniture and decorations, will provide youth with a safe place to play and resources to help them explore educational interests. All furniture for the space was provided by Williams Sonoma.
This new space is a much needed resource for the Deep East Oakland community, and deepens the Warriors growing investment in Oakland, despite their move to San Francisco this year.
Photo Credit: Denisha DeLane