Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Former Longhorn Sir’Jabari Rice, now with the Austin Spurs, helps host youth clinic, court unveiling

Courtesy of San Antonio Spurs.

The Austin community took part in celebrating the renovation of the basketball court in James A. Garrison District Park, with a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a youth basketball clinic led by former Texas Longhorn and current Austin Spurs player Sir’Jabari Rice and Spurs head coach Will Voigt.

“We want to make sure that everybody gets to participate and that all across our city, we get to participate, we get to play, we get to enjoy what’s going on,” Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said during the ceremony. “So I’m really thrilled to be here in this wonderful park.” 

Spurs Give is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping communities through sports. The Spurs Give and Austin Parks Foundation (APF) funded the Play ATX program in April 2023, which is devoted to renovating basketball courts throughout Austin. 

Rice, now starting out his professional career after playing at Texas for one year, believes the Spurs are impressionable and honorable in the work they do on and off the court.

“Spurs are a world class organization. They go about it the right way every day. I’m just taking it all in. I’m honestly blessed,” Rice said. “Again, this court is amazing. Like, they don’t do those things where I’m from.”

While helping the kids improve on the court, Rice believes that you need to dream big to succeed, on top of working hard. He played a key role in Texas’ Elite Eight run this past spring. 

“Obviously, everybody says work hard, but I feel like dreaming big is the most important thing,” Rice said. “The smaller your dreams the smaller your goals, so I feel like the bigger your dreams, the bigger your goals. Just chase your dreams, chasing your dreams will lead you somewhere.”

The court renovations included resurfaced concrete, new lighting and new park benches.This is the second court restoration and unveiling in Austin through Play ATX and the city still has plans for at least two more. 

“We recognize and understand that we cannot ask the community to show up for us, that we don’t first show up for the community and we do that authentically with the things that we know best, which is the power of sport and the power of play,” said Dr. Kara Allen, chief impact officer for Spurs Sports and Entertainment.

As a part of the festivities, the Central Texas Food Bank displayed their mobile pharmacy unit, which will supply fresh produce and other perishable items for up to 50 Austin families.

The sunny morning in James A. Garrison district park was full of comradery, joy and a strong sense of community. Members of the Spurs Give organization, the APF, district council members, Spurs players like Rice and head coach Voigt, youth basketball players and their families all rallied around the refurbished court.

Alongside Rice and Voigt, other Austin Spurs players helped host a basketball clinic for young aspiring basketball players to improve.

“Having a positive impact on the community is really at the end of the day, our ultimate goal,” Voigt said. “So our goal is at the end of the season that everybody that’s touched our team in some way feels a part of it.”

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