New Orleans Pelicans forward and 2021-22 Kia NBA All-Rookie Second Team member Herbert Jones and NBA Coach Carlos Barroca conduct basketball clinic in their donated newly built basketball court and balls for the youth living in Gawad Kalinga social entrepreneur community in Angat, Bulacan. Photo by Carmela Reyes-Estrope

ANGAT, Bulacan–All the way from the United States, New Orleans Pelicans forward and 2021-22 Kia NBA All-Rookie Second Team member Herbert Jones graced on Monday the National Basketball Association (NBA) “NBA Cares” program dedication of a newly constructed brand new basketball court in the social entrepreneur hub Gawad Development Community Development Foundation, Inc. (GK) in this town.

Jones with NBA Coach Carlos Barroca also led a basketball youth clinic to some 40 residents of Gawad Kalinga ages 18 and below.

Jandric Lim, NBA Philippines head said the Gawad Kalinga court dedication is the NBA Cares second basketball court donation in the country since 2017.

He said Gawad Kalinga, a local non-profit organization that aims to alleviate poverty through affordable housing and community development programs is chosen to be the recipient of the NBA Cares program to continue to bring its young people to sports particularly into basketball through a new facility. 

Gawad Kalinga has its own basketball court but it was deemed  smaller, old and is not concretized. 

Jose Luis Oquinena, Gawad Kalinga Chairman said their youth today and in the coming years will be more inspired to have a lively spirit in sports particularly basketball because of the grandeur NBA Cares basketball court. 

The dedication or donation of the court, is part of the leaguewide NBA 75th Live, Learn or Play program. it is their initiative to create and dedicate more than 100 new NBA Cares Live, Learn or Play Centers during the 2021-22 season. 

Jones spoke to the young players about the importance of living an active and healthy lifestyle and the positive values of sport.  The participants also engaged in agricultural activities, including vegetable gardening and plant propagation, and learned about the importance of sustainable farming.  

“I’m grateful to be part of the league’s efforts to give back to communities around the world through this court revitalization project in the Philippines,” said Jones.  “This was a great opportunity to create memorable experiences for the youth and inspire them to play the game I love in a fun and safe environment,” he said..

He advised the youth to just continue chasing their dreams because it will one day come true. 

NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues in the U.S. and around the world.  Internationally, NBA Cares has created more than 360 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play in 40 countries and territories.  In July 2017, the NBA revamped an indoor court in Santa Mesa, Manila, as part of a regional NBA Cares initiative that renovated courts across Southeast Asia.  The NBA Cares youth clinic was also supported by Energen Champion, the official chocomalt drink of the NBA in the Philippines.

Since 2007, Jr. NBA Philippines has reached more than two million youth, parents and coaches in more than 190 cities and municipalities across the country, teaching the fundamental skills and core values of the game: sportsmanship, teamwork, a positive attitude, and respect (S.T.A.R.).  Jr. NBA Philippines is supported by official partners AXA Philippines, Energen Champion and Gatorade.

Angelica Dumaquita, 19, a college student said her experience in NBA Cares basketball clinic inspires her to play basketball as a regular sports more so with a brand new court.

Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.