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Former Wizards star John Wall donates new basketball court at Roberts Park Community Center

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Former Washington Wizards star John Wall donates new basketball court at Roberts Park Community Center

Former Washington Wizards star John Wall, through his family foundation, will donate a new basketball court at Roberts Park Community Center in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. The photo above is the older outdoor court.

“This is my favorite time of the year,” the five-time All-Star said in a news release. “To have the opportunity to come back home and help the community that raised me is always a blessing.”

The dedication ceremony is set for 11 a.m. this Saturday at Roberts Park on East Martin Street. Visits at Durant Road Elementary School and the Salvation Army of Wake County are also on the agenda, per Raleigh News & Observer’s Anna Johnson.

Wall plans to visit Durant Road Middle School this Friday to distribute school supplies. The NBA free agent played his first two years of high school basketball at Garner Magnet High School in Garner, North Carolina.

The North Carolina native then transferred to Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh after failing to make GMHS’s varsity team due to attitude-related reasons. Although Wall’s tryout was reportedly “impressive” at Garner Magnet, he was cut for demeaning his teammates.

“John Wall Foundation’s donation breathes new life into the basketball court at Roberts Park,” park director Calvin Mitchell said in the release.

“By investing in the community where he grew up, John Wall demonstrates a genuine commitment to giving back and shows the children of the neighborhood that they have the potential to dream big, pursue their passions, rise above challenges and make their own mark on the world.”

Former Washington Wizards star John Wall donates a new basketball court at Roberts Park Community Center in Raleigh, North Carolina

Furthermore, Roberts Park was established in 1956 in the Battery Heights Historic District. This park resides on the former property of Bartholomew Gatling, who coached North Carolina A&M’s football team (now known as North Carolina State University) from 1893 to 1895.

The old indoor gymnasium at Roberts Park Community Center is 71 ft L by 87 ft W, per the site. The basketball court features two adjustable hoops and offers a max capacity of 259. Renting the court costs $85 per hour. Of course, the outside concrete-surface court remains available as well.

“I’m grateful to have John Wall and his Foundation continue to give back,” Mayor Pro Tem Corey Branch said. “John has a history of supporting his hometown with back-to-school drives and clinics.”

In 2017, Wall began sponsoring the Holiday Invitational, a Raleigh basketball tournament featuring top high school teams in the nation. Not to mention, the tournament has raised $1.5 million in scholarships for students over the years.

“One thing that Raleigh is known for is our basketball. … Basketball is culture. Basketball is our community,” Jalan Ward told CBS17 News last December. Ward is the owner of The Proud Black Brand and winner of the design contest.

“John Wall is somebody I’ve been inspired by since a kid. I was in middle school seeing him play high school basketball,” Ward added. “I’ve always looked up to that guy. So, just being able to instill basketball in front of the skyline is, like, it’s the foundation but knowing that basketball is a part of us.”

Additionally, the Raleigh City Council will formally accept Wall’s donation, worth approximately $50,000, during next Tuesday’s council meeting. The ex-Washington Wizards star remains unsigned, with NBA training camp a few months away.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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