A “Big Reveal” Indeed
Last August, many folks in Davidson thought that the biggest event in Town was the Curry for Three event at Davidson College.
Well, for some of Davidson’s younger residents the biggest event was the announcement that took pace the following day.
Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation joined forces with Under Armour and the Summit (Coffee) Foundation to announce the planned renovation of the gymnasium at the historic Ada Jenkins Center.
Last Saturday, January 21, the big day arrived. With renovations completed, it was time to test out those new hoops.
The Wildcat Men’s Basketball team’s schedule allowed several players to be on hand for the event.
For the “Big Reveal,” two of the three baskets were set at regulation height, while the third was in a lower setting. Instead of a ribbon cutting, balloons were placed inside the nets of those three baskets and the 3-point shootout began. Wildcat Desmond Watson lined up behind one arc and Sam Mennenga behind the other. Their youthful opponent Levi – dressed in Curry shoes, shorts, and #30 Warrior jersey – lined up to take his shot at the lower basket. The crowd counted down from ten, and when they reached zero – the three ballers took their shots.
Now, I’m sure Desmond Watson and Sam Mennenga would never intentionally miss a shot – but it was Levi who was the lone player to put the ball through the hoop. In doing so, he proved that you don’t need to be 6’5” or 6’9” to hit the winning shot. I’m told that Levi is every bit of 4’3” (in his Curry shoes).
The 2-hour long event in the newly renovated gym kept the kids busy. Parents and families stood around the edge of the court, and the kids – kids of all ages – played. Every half hour there were contests – 3-point shots, games of horse, and free throw shots.
One of the other special things that happened during the celebration was the unscripted “dunk experience.” First-year Wildcat player Joe Thomson (6’7”) was repeatedly called upon to help some of the younger, vertically-challenged players experience a dunk. He got a good upper body workout, picking up kids and letting them dunk the ball. The expressions on their faces were of pure joy.
No doubt, parents had some tired kids on their hands Saturday night.
Go by the Ada Jenkins Center to get a look at the renovated gym. You will find needed improvements: a new floor, new paint scheme, several really big photos of Davidson’s GOAT, and three adjustable baskets that can be lowered for younger players. The large photo mural at one end of the court also includes Davidson Men’s Basketball’s program’s key phrase – “Trust. Commitment. Care.”
The floor looks like wood. The Curry “3” emblem is at both ends of the court, just inside the free throw line. As one of the renovation partners – the Summit Coffee logo is also on the floor at both ends of the court. Opposite of Summit are those of “Eat. Learn. Play.” l
The Ada Jenkins’ Gymnasium is the ninth court built by Curry Brand and their partners in the “Change the Game for Good” initiative, which is aimed at creating opportunity, access, and equality for youth sports in neighborhoods around the world.
Since 2020, the organization has built new courts in Oakland, Baltimore, and Australia, among others. They plan to build and invest in 20 safe places to play by the year 2025, with projects that will range from refurbishing basketball courts to programs in the spaces.
Editor’s Note: Check out our album of photos and videos from the event.