by Lindsey Shay | Contributor
Nancy Lieberman Charities and Vanessa Bryant’s Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation made a Dream Court in Anaheim’s Pearson Park neighborhood a reality, with a ribbon cutting for the new outdoor basketball court. The ceremony, which took place on May 1st to commemorate the sixteenth birthday of Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, also revealed a public art installation featuring Gianna and Kobe Bryant.
Anaheim is special to the Bryant family. Vanessa Bryant was a cheerleader for St. Boniface Parochial School, which used Pearson Park as a venue for their football games. “I chose this location, so the Anaheim community may share in continuing the legacy of Kobe and Gianna, who would be very happy to know boys and girls will have equal opportunity to compete, learn, and play through the game they loved so much,” said Vanessa Bryant, President of the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. The event was attended by young people of the Anaheim Family YMCA, who all were gifted Kobe 6 Protro ‘Mambacita Sweet 16’ sneakers. Before participating in a short clinic on the new court, Bryant addressed the group, “When you play, remember them, and give it everything you have, all the time, every day, on and off the court. Play Gigi’s way.”
I chose this location, so the Anaheim community may share in continuing the legacy of Kobe and Gianna, who would be very happy to know boys and girls will have equal opportunity to compete, learn, and play through the game they loved so much.
The Pearson Park Dream Court, decorated with special images to honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant, is high school regulation size, 50-by-84 feet, with two new basketball goals. It features a high-performance PowerGame surface from Sport Court® in purple and gold. Sport Court is Nancy Lieberman Charities national partner for this program. The public art installation, created probono by artist Brian Peterson, is a 15’ tall by 25’ wide freestanding butterfly and sits alongside the Dream Court. The ceremony included a butterfly release.
In June, Vanessa Bryant and her three daughters helped unveil another Dream Court in Kobe’s hometown Philadelphia. The new court is located in the Overbrook neighborhood, where according to Vanessa Bryant, her husband’s love of the game began. The new basketball court features the Lakers’ colors, purple and gold, and includes #24 (Kobe’s jersey number) and #2 (Gianna’s jersey number) wrapped in hearts at each free throw line.
“The Dream Court is extraordinarily special because of the friendship I had with Kobe. I hope that children enjoy our Dream Court for many decades allowing them to soar in any direction they choose. I’m happy for the partnership with Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation and Nancy Lieberman Charities. Our vision is to change the lives of children,” said Nancy Lieberman, Basketball Hall of Famer and Nancy Lieberman Charities Founder.
Since the inception of the Dream Courts program in 2010, more than 100 Dream Courts have been installed across the United States to make basketball more accessible to children and provide an environment for them to play. Over three million youth play on Dream Courts in the U.S., with each court serving approximately 120 youth per day and helping to improve the lives of over 4.9 million children a year.
“This court will introduce a new generation of Anaheim kids to the joy of basketball,” Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu said. “We are honored, too, that this court in the heart of our city will inspire girls and women with the amazing contributions to the sport by Nancy Lieberman. On behalf of our city, I can’t wait to see the kids of Anaheim go hard in the paint on this incredible court.”
We are honored, too, that this court in the heart of our city will inspire girls and women with the amazing contributions to the sport by Nancy Lieberman.
About Nancy Lieberman Charities
Nancy Lieberman Charities was established in 2009 with the mission to provide a healthy physical, emotional and mental environment for young girls and boys to build their self-esteem and confidence so they will be able to make the right choices in the future. Nancy Lieberman is dedicated to expanding and ensuring that educational and sports opportunities exist for youth through her basketball camps and clinics, Dream Court projects, college scholarships, backpack and laptop programs. Find the nonprofit online at nancyliebermancharities.org on Facebook at @NancyLiebermanCharities, on Twitter @NLCharities and on Instagram at @NLCharities.
About Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation
Founded through the loving memory of Kobe and Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating positive impact for underserved athletes and boys and girls in sports. To learn more about MMSF, visit www.mambaandmambacita.org.
Instagram @mambamambacitasports / @mambamambacitasports