PHOENIX – Indoor and outdoor basketball courts at historic Eastlake Park in central Phoenix will be refurbished in the NCAA Men’s Final Four Legacy Project presented by Degree®, one of numerous community projects that will be undertaken as the Valley prepares to host the 2024 Men’s Final Four.
The 2024 Men’s Final Four Host Committee, the NCAA and Degree® are teaming up on the project at the park and community center at 1549 E. Jefferson Street in Phoenix. Work on the project will be completed before the 2024 Men’s Final Four, set for April 6 and April 8, 2024 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.
The project will include a complete refinish of the indoor basketball court; adjustable hoops and backboards; new scoreboard with shot clock; new benches, bleachers, wall pads, weight room equipment and rubber floor in the weight room. An outdoor basketball court will also be refurbished and outfitted with new backboards and hoops. A mural is also planned to enhance the site.
“Eastlake Park is a community treasure, and this project will ensure a vibrant legacy long after the 2024 Men’s Final Four is over,” said Jay Parry, CEO of the 2024 Men’s Final Four Host Committee. “This is where the next generation of Phoenix basketball stars can begin to dream about one day participating in the Men’s Final Four. We are grateful for the support of the NCAA and Degree® to provide a positive and lasting impact in our community.”
About 20,000 youth and adults use the gymnasium annually, and another 8,000 play on the adjacent outdoor court. The facility also hosts the Annual Arizona MLK Basketball Classic, a tournament for local teams held in connection with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
“The NCAA believes it is important to invest in the communities that host our championship events,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball. “The Eastlake Park Legacy Project will demonstrate that we are investing in more than new basketball courts – we are investing in the future of the community and the residents that this park serves.”
“Degree® is committed to inspiring the confidence in everyone to move beyond their limits. We know that the opportunity to move is not distributed equally, which is why we make commitments to ensure everyone has the freedom to move and help youth transform their lives through the power of movement. This is why we continue to support Legacy Park in order to bring this commitment to life and help break down the barriers that hold people back from moving.” Degree® said.
The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority is also providing support for the project.
Eastlake Park was established in 1889 as a gathering place for neighborhood meetings, picnics, concerts, sports, and other recreational activities for African Americans. The center and its namesake park played a central role in the civil rights movement in Arizona, hosting numerous rallies and visits from civil rights leaders. The park was also the starting point of many civil rights marches to the Arizona State Capitol, and it has hosted a large Juneteenth celebration for many years.