The Mavs and Mavs Foundation have now donated 30 basketball courts to the region.
This week alone, Kleber represented the Mavs at the Dallas Wings’ game, spoke to children at Mavs Hoop Camp on Tuesday, dedicated the court today and he’ll finish the week at two camps on Thursday.
Renovations to the Frazier space includes an outdoor basketball court, fencing, lighting, and equipment replacement to ensure the youth have a quality place to play while encouraging healthy living for residents in the community.
“If you don’t know what the court looked like before, it was a mess,” said Dorothy Hopkins, president and CEO of Frazier Revitalization. “It was just a concrete pad. It had one goal, no lights, but they were out there every day playing on it. This is going to make their day, their year.”
Kleber, a fifth-year NBA veteran, is one of the longest-tenured players on the team, and his rise to the pros continues to inspire children of all ages.
Under the blazing Dallas temperatures that soared well past 100 degrees Wednesday, Kleber stepped to the podium and shared how outdoor courts impacted his own life.
“It’s been a long time now, I’m 30 years now, but I remember when I was six years old, that’s basically how (my playing) started,” Kleber said about his early days in Wurzburg, Germany.
“I came together with my friends and played outdoor basketball,” he continued. “I made new friends. It was a special thing. My mom told us, years later when we got older, ‘I’d rather you play basketball and stay out of trouble.’ She emphasized this when she drove us to practice. This is where it all started for me, too.”
Kleber said he’d practice and play with his brother who is two years older than him.
“We took the basketball, went to the court,” he shared. “I wasn’t really strong enough to shoot, but I was just there dribbling. I think it’s a really good and nice thing to have a court here.”
Frazier Revitalization has over 10 years of experience offering direct out-of-school enrichment to at-risk minority youth in the South Dallas area, most of whom live in the subsidized housing development complex Frazier Townhomes.
“I am a resident of this community, I grew up in this community, so I would just like to give a major shoutout (to the) whole team,” said Antong Lucky, who serves on the board with Frazier Revitalization. “I remember back in the day we used to have that rim of the bicycle. So (it’s special) to actually have a real goal with lights and a nice court.”
After the official cutting of the net and dedication ceremony, Kleber joined the children for some basketball games and drills.
The Mavs Academy hosted a mini basketball clinic and the kids officially christened the space with the Dallas Mavericks and Sprite. Everyone was thrilled to celebrate this extraordinary occasion at Frazier Revitalization.
Kleber noted how the community-missioned Mavs put in a ton of effort yearlong to spark hope in communities.
“That is one of the things I really love about the Mavericks, about Mark, about the whole organization,” Kleber said. “They really care about the community, about giving back. That is the number one thing, and every year before we start the season, it’s about what we can do to give back. This is an amazing opportunity, and I hope the kids have fun.”