CAMDEN, NJ — The Sixers Youth Foundation and city officials ushered in a new Learn and Play Center at the Jackie Robinson Community Center in North Camden last week.
Emceed by Philadelphia 76ers TV broadcaster Marc Zumoff, the ribbon-cutting event on Friday brought local youth out to the center's computer lab and the renovated basketball court.
The organization supported the project by purchasing and installing computers, workstations and related equipment to help prepare students for success. Additionally, the effort included finishing the court and painting its surrounding walls. Chris Heck, president of the 76ers, went around to greet the children once the new learning area was unveiled.
“This really represents what the foundation is trying to do, which is focus on youth development,” said Amy Hever, 76ers Executive Director of Social Responsibility. “This is just one of the ways in which we express that work, by helping to build and increase access to places to play.”
The event was wrapped up with a basketball clinic led by 76ers legend World B. Free, who was drafted by the team in 1975.
“Our children can play and get physically fit, but also educate their minds and get fit in their brains,” Mayor Frank Moran said. “So we are just excited about everyone who’s gathered here today to continue to move our great city forward."
The Jackie Robinson Community Center serves nearly 200 city students per day during the school year. During the summer months, it reaches more than 500 children daily.
The 76ers opened a state-of-the-art facility along the Camden waterfront in 2016 that houses a training center and corporate offices.