Philanthropic programme from video game publisher behind the NBA® 2K franchise offers funding to UK basketball club
2K and the City of Birmingham Rockets Basketball Club announced that 2K Foundations funding will be issued to the club to rejuvenate its current facilities and offer more community programmes in 2021. The basketball club’s training space at Nechells Wellbeing Centre in Birmingham will undergo a full refurb, with two improved training courts, a show court enabling the club to host home games with a full audience, improved lighting facilities, new nets and scoreboards. The funding will also deliver an extensive local school and community programme, further weekly games via a new 2K league, additional sessions and support with transport to the facilities for those who need it across the city.
2K, publisher of NBA® 2K – the highest rated annual sports title for the current console generation* – launched 2K Foundations in 2018 to support underserved communities across the United States by refurbishing basketball courts and offering enrichment programming in neighbourhoods that needed them most. The funding and support provided to the City of Birmingham Rockets Basketball club marks the programme’s first project in Europe.
Further details were unveiled as part of 2KFest, a 24-hour livestream celebrating NBA® 2K21 and its release across all gaming platforms this year. A video of the announcement can be viewed here.
“We are delighted to bring the 2K Foundations programme to the UK,” said Simon Turner, Director of Marketing & Communications at 2K UK. “We know there are an army of passionate basketball and NBA 2K fans here in the UK. Via initiatives like this, we are able to celebrate them and pay it forward to the basketball communities. Being able to support the team in Birmingham with its work is something we are very proud of.”
“The funding to refurbish our training centre and offer more opportunities to play and enjoy basketball in our city is hugely exciting.” said Rob Palmer, Managing Director of the City of Birmingham Rockets Basketball Club. “The 2K UK team recognising our work and wanting to support us in this is wonderful.”
“Over the years, I have watched this Basketball Club provide a service for thousands of young people from the Birmingham Community at Nechells Wellbeing Centre,” said Kirk Dawes, QPM and Chair of the Board at the City of Birmingham Rockets Basketball Club. “Our gratitude to 2K Foundations for its investment in the Club and our home facility can only be described as ‘beyond measure.’ The capital will allow us the opportunity to attract more young people at a time when health, wellbeing, sport and education sit squarely at the top of the agenda for the future of society. Rockets is a family, and every family needs a home; this will make Nechells the home we have always dreamed of.”
“I’m delighted that the Birmingham Rockets have been able to secure this investment to develop the sport of basketball in the city and extend the team’s work with local young people,” said Cllr Paulette Hamilton, Cabinet Member of the Birmingham City Council. “I know colleagues in the city council are really looking forward to working in partnership with the team to secure a positive future for all the groups using the Nechells Wellbeing Centre and the wider local community.”
“This is such a positive news story and a boost for the city during what has been a difficult time for everyone,” said Paul Faulkner, CEO at Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of Sport Birmingham. “For the Rockets to attract this type of international support into Birmingham sends out a clear message that the city has bold plans for the future, which will attract interest and investment from around the world.”
“It’s fantastic to see a corporate partner such as the 2K Foundations committing to support the City of Birmingham Rockets Basketball Club, recognising them as a crucial asset to the community and a driver for the development of the sport and young people in inner city Birmingham,” said Mike Chamberlain, CEO at Sport Birmingham.
“It is really exciting to see this fantastic investment in the club and facility,” said Stewart Kellett, CEO at Basketball England. “It will be suitable for senior Basketball England National League competition, as well as junior activity and so much more. Additionally, with the Commonwealth Games coming in 2022, it’s another great building block in making the sport even more successful in the city. We can’t wait see the results.”
Refurbishment works will take place at the centre later this year, with a view to the new facilities opening and community programmes beginning in early 2021.
For more information about 2K Foundations, please visit foundations.2k.com.
For more information about NBA 2K, please visit nba.2k.com.
For more information about the City of Birmingham Rockets Basketball Club, please visit www.cobrockets.co.uk.
* According to 2008 – 2020 Metacritic.com
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