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Paul George Foundation donates funds for Palmdale basketball courts

Cory Alexander Haywood OW Contributor | 8/10/2018, midnight

NBA all-star and Palmdale native Paul George presented a check recently from the Paul George Foundation for $25,000 to city of Palmdale officials to help fund refurbishing of the basketball courts at Courson, Desert Sands and Marie Kerr Parks and a potential future upgrade at Domenic Massari Park in Palmdale.

The presentation was made at the second annual Paul George Celebrity Tournament, which was held at Castaic Lake on Aug. 4, with proceeds benefitting the Paul George Foundation. Presented by Bass Pro Shops, celebrities and professional anglers came together from across the country to compete in George’s  one-of-a-kind bass fishing tournament.

George grew up in Palmdale, graduated from Knight High School and often played basketball on the courts at Domenic Massari Park.

“Paul George is one of the greatest basketball players in the world and to have him working to improve the very basketball courts where he honed his craft, speaks volumes about his character and his commitment to Palmdale,” said Palmdale City Manager James Purtee. “It is an incredible honor for the City of Palmdale to be a beneficiary of the generosity of this foundation.”

 “In Palmdale, Domenic Massari Park is a community favorite,” said Keri Smith, director of Palmdale Recreation and Culture. “It’s a popular park that features lighted basketball courts and tennis courts, Little League ball fields, volleyball courts, soccer fields, a fairytale themed playground and a skate park. Visit the park on any fair weather day after school or on the weekends and you’ll see hundreds of people enjoying themselves by hosting outdoor barbeques in the picnic pavilions, taking a stroll along the beautiful tree lined walkways, or participating in one of our local events. It’s a park where families, neighbors and friends build lasting memories through a myriad of activities.”

Realizing the importance of Domenic Massari Park, back in 2015, the community stepped up and began the “Revive DMP” project to preserve and protect their neighborhood park by attending park safety meetings, offering improvement ideas and becoming vigilant park users and city partners. 

“Many “Revive DMP” improvements have been completed, more funding is needed to complete the park revival that has begun,” Smith said.

 “Paul George’s efforts are not going to stop with the basketball court improvements,” Purtee added. “As we apply for more grant funding for a large upgrade project at Domenic Massari, his Foundation has graciously offered to potentially match our grant funds.  Truly, Paul George has not forgotten where he came from and is working to ensure that quality counts and will be available for the next generation.”

 The mission of the Paul George Foundation is to promote health and well-being for underprivileged children and families through exploration of nature and the outdoors. The foundation offers support to stroke survivors, families and caregivers in their treatment and recovery process and creates awareness and education opportunities regarding stroke prevention. With signature programs like “Enjoy the Outdoors” and “Be a Stroke Hero”, the foundation provides a platform for Paul to engage and challenge local youth and adults to “Spend More Time Outdoors” and to “Be Strong”.