A state-of-the-art, dream basketball court was unveiled in Anaheim on May 1 to commemorate the sixteenth birthday of Gianna “Gigi” Bryant.
Nancy Lieberman Charities and Vanessa Bryant’s Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation made the Dream Court in the Pearson Park neighborhood a reality, with a ribbon cutting for the new outdoor basketball court held on Sunday. The ceremony commemorated the sixteenth birthday of Gianna “Gigi” Bryant and also revealed a public art installation featuring Gianna and Kobe Bryant. Both structures are donated to the city of Anaheim.
Anaheim is special to the Bryant family. Vanessa Bryant was a cheerleader for St. Boniface Parochial School, which used Pearson Park as a venue for their football games. “I chose this location so the Anaheim community may share in continuing the legacy of Kobe and Gianna, who would be very happy to know boys and girls will have equal opportunity to compete, learn, and play through the game they loved so much,” said Bryant, President of the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. The event was attended by young people of the Anaheim Family YMCA, who were all were gifted Kobe 6 Protro ‘Mambacita Sweet 16’ sneakers. Before participating in a short clinic on the new court, Bryant addressed the group, “When you play, remember them, and give it everything you have, all the time, every day, on and off the court. Play Gigi’s way.”
The Pearson Park Dream Court, decorated with special images to honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant, is high school regulation size, 50-by-84 feet, with two new basketball goals. It features a high-performance PowerGame surface from Sport Court® in purple and gold. Sport Court is Nancy Lieberman Charities national partner for this program. The public art installation, created probono by artist Brian Peterson, is a 15’ tall by 25’ wide freestanding butterfly and sits alongside the Dream Court. The ceremony included a butterfly release.
“The Dream Court is extraordinarily special because of the friendship I had with Kobe. Vanessa and Kobe created their dreams in the Anaheim community and I hope that children enjoy our Dream Court for many decades allowing them to soar in any direction they choose. I’m happy for the partnership with Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation and Nancy Lieberman Charities. Our vision is to change the lives of children.” said Nancy Lieberman, Basketball Hall of Famer and Nancy Lieberman Charities Founder.
Since the inception of the Dream Courts program in 2010, more than 100 Dream Courts have been installed across the United States to make basketball more accessible to children and provide an environment for them to play. Over three million youth play on Dream Courts in the U.S., with each court serving approximately 120 youth per day and helping to improve the lives of over 4.9 million children a year.
“The Bryant family has always had a special tie to Anaheim,” Mayor Harry Sidhu said. “This court is a lasting legacy of that connection and will introduce a new generation of Anaheim kids to the joy of basketball. We are honored, too, that this court in the heart of our city will inspire girls and women with the amazing contributions to the sport by Nancy Lieberman. I want to thank Nancy Lieberman Charities and the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation for this investment in the kids of Anaheim. On behalf of our city, I can’t wait to see the kids of Anaheim go hard in the paint on this incredible court.”