A dozen teenagers from the facility stood near the podium with huge smiles across their faces as the audience celebrated and cheered on the official unveiling of the court.
It was a moment they had dreamed about for months.
Leading up to the event, leaders at MHMR said the teens anticipated the completion of the basketball court renovations. Many of them even worked with Mavs Foundation officials to place the finishing touches on the outdoor facility.
Now they have a safe place of their own to get fresh air and shoot hoops, serving as yet another powerful reminder of how sports like basketball can bring such healing, joy and hope to others.
“Basketball is one of my loves and one of my coping skills,” said one teenager residing at the facility. “Seeing the Mavs come out and redo the court has been really cool because I know other kids will have basketball for a coping skill and it will help their recovery, too.”
MHMR supports and provides services for babies, children, youth, and adults with developmental delays, intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health disorders.
“The gift is not only inspiring, but an important part of our work at MHMR, incorporating therapeutic recreation and play into a model of wellness and holistic care,” said Rand Otten, executive director of the MHMR Foundation. “For our youth, the Campus represents a place of caring, a place of healing, a place of hope.”
The Mavs Foundation’s renovated court at MHMR was a labor of love with multiple businesses bringing the vision to life. PPG helped design the court with a Mavs-inspired theme, reminding the young men that their local NBA team supported and backed their recovery. The Mavs Foundation also provided a new basketball goal, safety inspected wall pads, and new cooling fans and lighting.
Meanwhile, Euless-based NexCourt installed their cutting-edge SportCourt outdoor court flooring, designed with vertical give to cushion the knees and feet of athletes. The innovative court was constructed to endure heat and drain water, which is critical because it provides a basketball surface that will last many years.
“This is one of our first lit courts, so we are so pleased to have lighting,” said Katie Edwards, president of the Mavs Foundation. “We are thankful for all of our community partners, as well as our longtime friends at the Pro Players Foundation that helped us get all of these things done.
“I also want to send a special thank you to the staff of the Mavs Foundation and the Dallas Mavericks, especially Hannah Sherertz, Emily Luth, Mateo Means and Cory Carter. Also, our Mavs Academy coaches and staff who really help us break in these courts and really get some good use for our youth and kids.”
Susan Garnett, chief executive officer of MHMR of Tarrant County, also provided a heartfelt message at the court dedication.
“Our agency does a lot of work in the community, serving people who have a variety of different kinds of needs or interest in services,” Garnett said. “We are so grateful for the over 60,000 people who come to us for assistance every year. We are especially grateful when we have friends like you who help us find new and unique ways to help us get better. I think these guys are going to make very good use of these gifts.”
The entire Mavs Academy staff helped christen the new court after the official ceremonies, and the coaches brought the teen residents together to celebrate and participate in some friendly competition. Dozens of paintings from the youth stood plastered to the wall in the background with uplifting messages like “thank you for this court!” and “We love basketball!”
One teen resident summed up how remarkable the new Mavs Foundation court renovation was for him and others at the campus.
“It makes me feel that people actually care about other people, especially people in recovery,” he shared. “They want us kids to grow up to be good people, better people.”