KaBOOM! A New Playground is Here!

NBA All Star Jr. Journalism Program

By Brogan Hausknecht, St Mary’s Dominican High School
Mentored by Barri Bronston
Photos by Stephanie Mayer, St Mary’s Dominican High School

It was raining, it was pouring, but the gloomy weather did not stop the NBA All Star players from constructing a playground for William Hart Elementary in suburban New Orleans. On February 17, members of the NBA All Stars congregated in the miserable weather to help create sunshine for hundreds of kids.

After applying for three years, William Hart Elementary finally had its wish granted.

William Hart has been in need of a playground for the students, who for over fifteen years, have been playing in the mud, instead of sliding down a slide.

“Hurricane Katrina prompted us to start NBA Cares,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We feel the need to always give back, especially in New Orleans.”

“Both NBA Cares and KaBOOM! focus on communities in need to go out and become active,” said Alejandro Cardemil, a worker for the KaBOOM! corporate partnership. “This is our 12th project with NBA Cares, and we are so ecstatic to continue this mission.”

In addition to starring on the basketball court, Steph Curry, a point guard for the Golden State Warriors, is a six-time volunteer working with NBA Cares. “All-Star weekend is a great opportunity to help out with NBA Cares,” said Curry.  “They picked this school to provide a playground for this school, which is desperately needed.”

Not only have the students been begging for a playground, the teachers have also been wishing for the same thing. Rebecca Schafer, a special education teacher at William Hart Elementary, is especially excited for the dedication. “This is an amazing opportunity,” said Schafer. “It is inspiring to know that there are people outside of this school who are invested in these kids.”

Apart from the of the excitement NBA All-Star weekend, these players still made time to participate, similar to New Orleans native Derrick Hemphill, who currently lives in New York, but still offers his time to volunteer for schools in need.

“Besides the glitter and glam of the NBA All Star, people are still here to serve,” said Hemphill. “It is so wonderful to see so many people come out and give back.”

After the clouds disappeared, the sun shined on the new playground.

“This is unlike anything that’s ever happened,” said Schafer. “These are my kids, this is my investment and this my home away from home.”