New facility introduced with basketball clinic and slam dunk competition for club members and local community
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- On November 16th, The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation and Icy Hot announced the opening of their fifth Comebaq Court at the Challengers Boys & Girls Club of Metro Los Angeles, as part of their combined efforts to inspire the next generation of athletes and rebuild healthy places for kids to play in underserved communities. The new Comebaq Court ? created in collaboration with the Lakers Youth Foundation ? will provide Club members with a refurbished space to play and hone their basketball skills.
"Restoring basketball courts and creating safe places for kids to play has always been important to me," Shaquille O'Neal said. "I was a kid at the Boys & Girls Club once, and the community supported me beyond just sports. I'm thrilled to celebrate the opening of this Comebaq Court at Challengers Boys & Girls Club for our kids to enjoy, as we ensure the next generation has access to safe places like these to follow their dreams."
The opening of the Los Angeles Comebaq Court comes as Shaquille O'Neal and Icy Hot celebrate 20 consecutive years of partnering together. In that time, they've refurbished courts in Las Vegas, Newark, Miami and Atlanta to give thousands of local kids in need a welcoming place to play. It also comes on the heels of launching Icy Hot Kids ? the very first line of topical pain care products specifically formulated for kids, ages 2-12.
"We are delighted to once again join forces with The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation to strengthen communities nationwide, so kids have well-equipped courts and other safe spaces to play," said Vincent Balagat, Icy Hot Sr. Brand Director at Sanofi. "Looking ahead, as Icy Hot continues to evolve in 2024 and beyond, we remain dedicated to supporting the next generation of athletes."
The official court reveal, and dedication was held yesterday, Thursday, November 16. Shaquille was joined by local government officials, as well as representatives from The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation, Icy Hot, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles (BGCMLA) and Lakers Youth Foundation (LYF).
To mark the special occasion, there was a basketball clinic for the Challengers Boys & Girls Club members run by the Lakers Youth Foundation. The Lakers Youth Foundation has a long-standing relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles-Challengers Club as the indoor basketball court at the Club was refurbished by the Lakers and Lakers Youth Foundation.
Additionally, at the official November 16 court reveal, there was a slam dunk competition with some of the city's best local dunkers on the brand-new court, along with notable sports personality, Rachel DeMita, to make a great opening moment for the Boys & Girls Club members.
"We are grateful to the Shaquille O'Neal Foundation, the Lakers Youth Foundation, and Icy Hot for this magnificent new court," said Patrick Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles. "BGCMLA strives to provide our young people with the highest quality programs in safe, world-class facilities. Thanks to our partners on this court, we can program more opportunities to compete and play!"
"The Lakers Youth Foundation is excited to share this amazing space at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles (BGCMLA) ? and the Challengers Club with one of our greatest Lakers Legends ? Shaquille O'Neal," said Kiesha Nix, VP of Charitable Affairs & Executive Director of Lakers Youth Foundation. "Together with the Shaquille O'Neal Foundation, Icy Hot and all partners, another court is being completed adding endless opportunities to grow, develop and dream BIG for the youth of BGCMLA."
This project came together based on Shaquille's relationship with the Lakers.
For more details on Comebaq Courts, visit Icy Hot. Beyond Los Angeles, plans for additional Comebaq Courts continue.
Comebaq Courts embodies making an impact to communities through purpose-led work, reinforcing Sanofi Consumer Healthcare North America's new B Corp Certification in recognition of environmental and social achievements, centered around better self-care for healthier people and a healthier planet.
About Icy Hot® : As America's No. 1 topical pain relief brand among OTC topical analgesics, Icy Hot® makes powerful over-the-counter pain relief products that fuel your resilience to rise from pain. Our extensive line of products provides powerful, fast-acting relief to give you targeted relief. Icy to dull the pain. Hot to relax it away®. The Icy Hot brand is brought to you by Sanofi's Consumer Healthcare division that provides over-the-counter drugs such as topical analgesics, allergy medications, gas, constipation and heartburn medications, medicated skin products, as well as cosmetics and dietary supplements.
About The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation: The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation creates pathways for underserved youth, helping them achieve their full potential. Established in 2019 by the NBA Hall of Famer, television sports analyst and entrepreneur Shaquille O'Neal, the Foundation works to instill hope and bring about change in communities, collectively shaping a brighter future for our children. While primarily partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs and Communities in Schools, the Foundation simultaneously supports Shaquille's other charitable endeavors, such as his annual Shaq-a-Claus holiday event and initiatives alongside his corporate partners. For more information, visit shaqfoundation.org.
About Boys & Girls Club of Metro Los Angeles (BGCMLA): Boys & Girls Club of Metro Los Angeles (BGCMLA) was formed in 2015 with a deep history of impact across the metro Los Angeles area. In 2023, two of the country's most enduring clubs? BGCMLA and Boys & Girls Clubs of Venice ? joined together to deepen our collective impact. As community staples since the sixties, BGCMLA now consists of seven locations, uplifting and servicing communities such as Challengers in South Los Angeles, Bell Gardens, Watts-Willowbrook, and Venice, as well as school sites. Staffed by caring and committed professional adult mentors, the clubs offer proven programs to bolster academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. For more information, please visit our website at www.bgcmla.org.
About The Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation (LYF): The Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 organization and the official team charity of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Foundation's mission is to help underserved youth develop their potential by providing positive experiences and resources in education, health and wellness, and sports. The Foundation also awards grants to other charities that support youth through direct services and programs in these areas.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles
(213) 628-3673| [email protected]
SOURCE The Shaquille O'Neal Foundation
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