SAN FRANCISCO—Renovated sport courts, including a unique basketball court that doubles as colorful street art, opened amid a community celebration today at the Hayes Valley Playground.
Improvements to the basketball court, including a colorful court mural by San Francisco street artist Apexer, resurfacing, and new hoops and backboards, was funded with a $99,500 grant from the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF) through its Build it and They Will Ball initiative, with support from Airbnb Co-founder Joe Gebbia. The project also includes a resurfaced tennis court and fencing improvements funded through the Recreation and Park Department’s budget.
The design was inspired by the neighborhood and the project driven by community input.
“Public basketball courts like this one have always been places people can go not just to get exercise but to find community,” said District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown, “This brand new court designed with community input in a beloved neighborhood park is sure to become a beacon bringing people together, young and old.”
Through the Build it and They Will Ball initiative, KDCF has supported over 13 basketball court resurfacings around the world in order to increase access to high-quality courts for underprivileged youth, including two courts resurfaced in 2018 at Hunters Point Community Youth Park, a San Francisco Unified School District property.
“It’s an honor to partner with Joe Gebbia of AirBnB and the City of San Francisco to give back to the community and its youth,” said Kevin Durant. “This is the KDCF’s 20th basketball court renovation through the Build It and They Will Ball initiative, and it means a lot to me that it’s in the Bay, a place that will always be special to me.”
Hayes Valley Playground reopened in 2011 after a $3.9 million renovation, which included a new clubhouse with a living roof and solar panels, a performance area, outdoors sports equipment, a new playground and community garden. However, the sport courts had not been renovated since 2001.
“The Hayes Valley Playground is one of our most cherished parks,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “It is the social center of the community and provides invaluable programming, especially for youth from the nearby public housing developments. We’re so excited to offer top-notch sport courts, including one of the most creative basketball courts anywhere.”
Street artist Apexer, who designed the court mural of colorful abstract patterns, is part of the Gestalt Collective that engages in collaborative murals in San Francisco. He has curated mural projects across San Francisco, including on Bluxome Alley and the SFMOMA display windows in association with St. Johns Community Center. His work has been shown extensively both in the Bay Area and beyond, and he has been featured in documentaries and publications about the Mission District.
“I’m proud to join the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation to support the San Francisco Recreation and Parks and the Hayes Valley Playground renovation project,” said Joe Gebbia, Airbnb Co-Founder. “This one of a kind design created by San Francisco street artist Apexer, will help ensure that kids across the community have a special place to belong and call their own for years to come.”
More than 100 local youth attended today’s event, which featured basketball games, face painting, a DJ, and giveaways.