Hornets, Legislate dedicate court in New Roads
POSTED: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 3:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 3:04am
New Orleans, La — Each summer, the Louisiana state legislature hosts a charity basketball game in Baton Rouge, pitting legislative members of the Senate against the House. Although the hoops contest can get competitive at times with bragging rights on the line for each group, the primary purpose of the annual event is to raise money that will go toward community initiatives around the state.
On Sunday, March 4, the town of New Roads, La. – located roughly 110 miles northwest of New Orleans – became the latest community to benefit from the legislature’s annual “HoopLA” charity game. The Hornets partnered with the Louisiana Legislature Charity Fund and Cox Communications to refurbish a basketball court at Emmit J. Douglas Park in New Roads, which was officially re-opened during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a picture-perfect Sunday afternoon.
Louisiana House representative Joseph “Major” Thibaut, who played in the HoopLA game in the summer of 2011, was randomly selected from that game’s participants to choose a basketball court in his district to be refurbished. “I am thrilled to have had the chance to select Emmit J. Douglas Park,” Thibaut said. “Thanks to the Hornets and the Louisiana Legislative Charity, we have a beautiful new place for kids in New Roads to play basketball.”
“Our commitment to give back to local communities expands throughout the entire state of Louisiana,” Hornets team president Hugh Weber said, alluding to New Roads, which is approximately 30 miles from the state capital of Baton Rouge. “Our efforts to refurbish local basketball courts provide young people with a safe place to learn the game of basketball and participate in activities that promote fitness and healthy habits.”
Following the ceremony to open the facility, which was also attended by Hornets emcee Rob Nice, mascot Hugo and the Honeybees, the Hornets put that initiative into action, hosting a free basketball clinic for 50 area youngsters. In addition, the mayor of New Roads, Robert Myer, teamed up with the Hornets to purchase 25 tickets apiece to send all 50 children to the April 13 game in the New Orleans Arena against the Utah Jazz.