Students at Charles Drew Middle School near Watts were treated Tuesday to the unveiling of nine new basketball courts and other upgrades to their athletic facilities that were funded by the Los Angeles Clippers and American Airlines.
The Clippers last year opened the first of hundreds of planned public basketball courts across Los Angeles to be renovated over the next three years though a $10 million gift to the Los Angeles Parks Foundation.
The Charles Drew Middle School renovations happened because rapper Stix, who grew up in Watts, persuaded the Clippers to also renovate the facilities at the school, Councilman Joe Buscaino’s office said.
“We are here today because of the people who made this happen care for you, love you, bless you. These people want you to succeed,” Buscaino told the school’s students during a ceremony to celebrate the new facilities.
Buscaino’s office said in addition to the nine refurbished courts, an indoor gym and an outdoor track were also renovated along with other upgrades. The school is located in the unincorporated community of Florence-Firestone, which is just outside Watts.
“This is for ya’all. It’s not for me, it’s not for us. It’s for ya’all,” said Stix, whose real name is Brandon Salaam-Bailey.
The cost of the courts and other upgrades was about $200,000, and were the result of a partnership between the Clippers and American Airlines, Buscaino’s office said.