Basketball Is Religion: Nike Chicago Converts West Loop Church Into a Sanctuary for Chicago Youth


photo by Victory Creative

photo by Victory Creative

Nike Chicago is making a difference in the Chicago community. Not only is the store active by introducing many events, but they are also now taking their creativity to the church.
On August 6, Nike debuted  “Just Do It HQ at The Church,” a pop-up summer basketball experience and training space. In partnership with the local community, Nike Chicago has transformed the Church of Epiphany in the West Loop area into a cultural hub for basketball– the ultimate summer training program to help inspire Chicago’s youth.
Just Do It HQ at The Church includes elite basketball training for young athletes while offering a series of interactive youth workshops, pro athlete appearances, and skills clinics designed to help Chicagoland athletes chase their dreams both on and off the court.
Each day groups will be separated from young ladies and young men; each group will spend time on the court learning drill routines with professional trainers and elite coaches and professionals. The teens are also provided Nike attire, lunch, and transportation.
Nike’s driving force is to boost their self-esteem by telling them that they can do whatever they love if they work hard enough. They also want to show students that school and learning are imperative to their future even if they become famous and make it to the big time, they will need to know how to manage healthy lifestyle choices.
In the hallway area, there is a wall that asks the teens “What’s your Crazy Dream?” giving them the vision in their minds to think and act on it.
At the opening of the facility, Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen spoke with the young and ambitious basketball players who visited to hone their skills.
In July, Nike hosted the Rise Basketball camp at Kenwood High School and hundreds of local high school players participated. The event occurred during the same time Nike hosted the Nike Tournament of Champions at the McCormick Center in Chicago.
Kevin Durant made a special appearance at both the McCormick Center to take in some games and Kenwood High School to talk to the teens. At Kenwood, Durant answered some questions about life and the game of basketball, providing respected insight for the youth.
Just Do It HQ at The Church is a collaborative effort between Nike Chicago and the local community. The Space will run Monday- Saturday throughout the month of August for groups of Chicagoland student athletes. On Sundays, the space will be open to walk-up programming for local residents.
The Church is a place for Chicago to reignite its belief in the next generation and help them chase their hoop dreams. In 1988, Nike inspired a revolution in sports participation. That inspiration came from a series of advertisements with three simple words: Just Do It! Since then, the phrase has become Nike’s guiding philosophy for  new products, memorable athletic experiences, and industry-defining services. Nike is creating many physical spaces across the country to instill belief and bring inspiration.
If you are a resident of Chicago, you too can pop up at the Just Do It HQ at The Church for a game of hoops by registering here.


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