While the plug was pulled on a stadium in downtown Hartford on Monday (for now), just down the road a basketball court was opening up at the Asylum Hill Boys & Girls Club.
The wheelchair accessible basketball court, the first of "Kevin's Kourts," was made possible by the Kevin Ollie Charity Classic which supports programs for over 22,000 people with disabilities. The courts were 100% underwritten by the Kevin Ollie Charity Classic as well as its sponsors and supporters.
The UConn head basketball coach has been involved with this particular cause for over 20 years now, ever since a former teammate, Steve Emt, was in an accident which paralyzed him from the waist down when Ollie was a senior at UConn. Since then, Ollie has been working to raise funds for disabled individuals and worked on getting Emt a truck he could drive.
Now, he's moved on to building basketball courts, wheelchair accessible courts which will allow people with or without disabilities to play basketball. There are 10 stations created by Bankshot™ that allow the players to shoot at different angled backboards.
This one is just the first of many "Kevin's Kourts" according to Ollie. There are plans for one in West Hartford at Jonathan's Dream and also in Waterbury. And it won't stop there. If you can find Ollie some land, he'll put a Kevin's Kourt there for people to use.
After the dedication of the 60x45 basketball court, Ryan Martin of the Ryan Martin Foundation as well as members of the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford and Hospital for Special Care Junior Wheelchair Basketball Team participated in a clinic run by Martin.
To continue to raise money for the cause, the Kevin Ollie Charity Classic, where all of the proceeds go to help people with disabilities, has a new home this year. It will be played at Lake of Isles, which is owned by Foxwoods, on August 21 and August 22.
Photo gallery credits: Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog