The City Rescue Mission has been Thundered up during the last 10 days and on Wednesday, several Thunder players and NBA executives gathered to dedicate the center's new NBA Cares Learn & Play Center.
As soon as it was clear the Thunder would be competing in the NBA Finals, a team of volunteers began working on the center, transforming it into a brightly painted, high-tech learning center complete with shiny new HP computers, a library of thousands of new books and Thunder team colors and décor throughout.
The new center will give the many homeless children who stay at the center a place to go for tutoring, unwinding and catching up on their school work.
“I don't think there's any question that it will change someone's life here,” said Thunder player Derek Fisher. He attended the ribbon cutting with teammates Reggie Jackson, Eric Maynor, Cole Aldrich, Royal Ivey and Lazar Hayward. Fisher's mother, Annette Fisher, and Kevin Durant's mother, Wanda Pratt, were also present. Also representing the team at the ceremony were Thunder general manager Sam Presti, team chairman Clay Bennett and his wife Louise Gaylord Bennett, and coach Scott Brooks. NBA Cares ambassador Bob Lanier and TV host Ahmad Rashad also attended.
“No matter what goes into it, if one person's life is changed by having this space and the opportunity to use these facilities then it was all worth it. One person can change the world. One person can change the community,” Fisher said.
Since 2005, each of the NBA Finals teams' cities have benefitted from the NBA Cares program. On Monday, a similar dedication will occur in Miami at a community center. The Oklahoma City project represents the 710th NBA Cares project.