Basketball Legends and 2 Chainz Visits Chicago: Discuss Sports and Community
Senior Staff Writer
Kenny “The Jet” Smith returned to Chicago with Coors Light Full Court reFRESH to help refurbish more community basketball courts in Illinois. During an event, dubbed, “Four Corners,” Smith was joined by Chicago basketball legends Dee Brown and Ronnie Fields, Sports journalist and blogger, Bryan Crawford and Grammy-nominated hip-hop recording artist, 2 Chainz.
The hip hop recording star is a former basketball star that hails from Alabama A&M University. He said, “I just know that basketball was a very important point in my life, I a lot of friends that I met—I still talk to over the last twenty years that I’ve met on the basketball courts. I met my friend who is my security—we’ve been playing basketball since I was thirteen from the other side of town. Basketball did so much in my life—it was like a relief therapy,” said 2 Chainz. “I was raised by a single mom. When I was hungry; I played basketball, when I was sleepy—I played basketball. When I had homework then I played basketball. In my community, they turned the tennis courts into basketball courts so that was my getaway for a long time.”
The group came together to discuss the importance of the availability of sports and related community resources. Following the discussion, Coors Light presented a donation to the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League to help enhance basketball courts throughout Illinois. The courts at Columbus Park on Chicago’s west side, and Victory Park in Urbana Illinois will benefit from the program this year.
Dee Brown remembers growing up on the West Side and his love for basketball. “I grew up here so for me to walk from North Ave and Central Ave. to Columbus Park was a big deal for me. I thought my brother was a legend–I thought he was a God growing up.” His commitment to giving back and making sure to support causes such as Full Court reFRESH to help revitalize the basketball courts in low-disparity communities such as Austin is essential to keeping sports in young lives.