- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation opened three newly refurbished rec courts Tuesday at the Ferebee Hope Recreation Center in Ward 8 in the District.

The tennis court and two basketball courts were painted in the colors of the Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics and Capital City Go-Go, and a three-panel mural was erected with the teams’ logos and some popular basketball sayings for added decoration.

The project was part of Monumental’s new “Forward8” initiative, designed to give back to residents in the same ward where the Entertainment and Sports Arena was erected to house Mystics and Go-Go home games and Wizards practices.

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Monumental CEO and chairman Ted Leonsis, Mystics coach Mike Thibault, Wizards athlete development and engagement head John Thompson III and Ward 8 Council member Trayon White were on hand for the grand opening.

Leonsis praised Wizards and Mystics players for their “authentic” commitment to the communities of Washington and said the courts were “a small first step” in what Monumental’s charitable arm hopes to give back to Ward 8.

“The more that we can give, I think, the more ultimately that we’ll build a legacy for our franchise and our players and our team,” Leonsis said. “We want to leave a lot more than we take. And I can’t be prouder of the organization and our foundation and the players for really living that.”

Following the ceremony was a basketball clinic for students from nearby Hendley Elementary School, allowing some eager boys and girls to break the courts in.

“This isn’t a one-and-done thing,” Leonsis said. “We told everyone that we were committed to Ward 8, we’re committed to our city and we’ll continue to do that.”

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