Thunder Cares charity to renovate court at city park

Thursday, August 30, 2012

by Michael Kimball

The Oklahoman

A second Oklahoma City park is about to get a makeover from the Thunder's charitable foundation.

The city and the Thunder Cares Foundation reached an agreement for the team to refurbish the court at Pitts Park, 1920 N Kate Ave. in northeast Oklahoma City.

The team previously refurbished the court at the Police Athletic League's home park, Draper Park.

Plans for the new court are similar to the work done at Draper Park: a resurfaced court, new backboards and rims, partial fence and an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant sidewalk.

The Thunder logo also will be on the center of the court and on the backboards.

The first Thunder renovation has been well-received, said Wendel Whisenhunt, the director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

"The children playing basketball love having the Thunder logo associated with their play," he said.

The Thunder contacted the city this year looking for a neighborhood park that could use a refurbished basketball court and Pitts was at the top of the city's list, Whisenhunt said.

Many of the Thunder's community efforts around the metro focus on things other than basketball, but this is an exception.

"One of our principal initiatives within our Thunder Cares Foundation is to refurbish sports facilities throughout the community. It's something we're proud to do, to spread the love of basketball throughout the foundation," team spokesman Dan Mahoney said.

The team expects the refurbishing to be finished in three or four months, Mahoney said.