Three Cleveland Cavaliers players — along with Cavs leadership, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and city and Cuyahoga County council members including Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland — unveiled a new media center Thursday at the Boys & Girls Teen Club at East Tech High School in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood.
The project is part of the NBA Cares program, which since 2001 has given back to the city of each conference champion during the NBA Finals. The work includes including the creation and/or renovation of basketball courts, libraries, and technology centers and are designed to leave a positive lasting impact in the respective cities.
The transformed space at East Tech High School includes new computers, tablets and other digital tools, along with furniture, books, basketball equipment and much more. The Learn & Play Center will provide youth in the area with a safe place to play and resources to help them explore educational interests.
Cavs rookie Kay Felder got beat at a game of Guess Who, delighting his young opponent. Forward/center Channing Frye played Jenga with three kids. Forward James Jones told Miryne Thomas, the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland’s 2017 Youth of the Year, to keep doing what he’s doing.
“As an East Tech graduate myself and someone who grew up in the Boys & Girls Club, to be here like this… it’s a wonderful experience,” said Richard Starr, director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland’s King Kennedy Club.
In a press conference emceed by NBATV’s Ahmad Rashad, guests in attendance – including 100 kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland – heard from many including Mayor Frank Jackson and Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, as well as Cavaliers CEO, Len Komoroski, Cavs General Manager David Griffin, and player James Jones.
Head Coach Tyronn Lue and his staff were joined by players Channing Frye, Derrick Williams, Richard Jefferson, Kay Felder and Jones for the official ribbon cutting to formally open the new space.
All of the VIPs – including Cuyahoga County Councilman Pernel Jones Jr, Cleveland City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley, and Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon – then spent time in the new Club room interacting with the kids.