Press Release
May 20, 2014

Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Park District Continue Partnership with Nike and Expand Free Basketball Program in Parks Throughout the City

Second Year of Chi League Parks Program to Reach 10,000 Chicago Kids, Create 150 Jobs
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly, Alderman Emma Mitts and Scottie Pippen today announced the second year of a partnership with Nike to offer free basketball skills clinics in neighborhood parks across the City. The free clinics, known as Chi League Parks, will be held every Saturday this summer, starting May 31.

“Chi League Parks was a tremendous success in 2013 and serves as an example of how business, communities and government can come together to support Chicago’s youth while also creating area jobs,” said Mayor Emanuel. “It’s important that our kids have access to safe activities and positive role models in the summer, and I commend Nike for doubling down on this successful program to reach even more young people.”

Chi League was created in 2013 by Nike to bring dynamic summer hoops options to Chicago and is comprised of a trio of programs: Chi League Pro-Am, Chi League Parks and Chi League School. This year, Chi League programs will create a total of 150 area jobs.

“We’re proud to partner with the Chicago Park District to bring Chi League Parks back to the communities of Chicago.” said Jim Beeman, VP/GM North America region at Nike, Inc. “Chi League Parks allow young players a chance to celebrate the rich basketball culture of the city while also delivering programs to help improve their skills on and off the court.”
The Chi League Parks program, created by Nike in partnership with the Chicago Park District, offers a safe place for kids 10-18 to participate in an immersive basketball and life skills clinic. This year, the program has been expanded to reach 10,000 Chicago kids, up from 5,000 kids last year.

“In addition to being a healthy activity, basketball programs can teach our kids important life lessons like teamwork and good sportsmanship,” said Park District Superintendent Kelly. “The Park District is pleased to again partner with Nike to provide more positive opportunities for Chicago youth, right in their neighborhood parks.”

Individuals can register for Chi League Parks by visiting parks in-person and selecting a 9-13 year-old grouping or a 14-18 year-old grouping. The 10-week kickoff schedule is listed below. Additional dates and locations for the remainder of the year will be released later this summer.

  • May 31: Columbus Park
  • June 7: Taylor Park
  • June 14: Franklin Park
  • June 21: Washington Park
  • June 28: LaFollette Park
  • July 12: Garfield Park
  • July 19: Fernwood Park
  • July 26: Homan Square
  • August 2: Ogden Park
  • August 9: Foster Park

In addition to Chi League Parks, Chi League Pro-Am is 10 week pro-am series featuring 12 neighborhood teams comprised of 180 elite basketball players, including 30 current and former professional basketball players. Chi League School is an intensive basketball and life skills development program for high school student-athletes who want to improve their skills but do not have the opportunity to get invited to premier off-season leagues. Like Chi League Parks, Chi League School also expanded this year to include both boys and girls and will serve 400 high school students, up from 100 last year. Sessions during the five-week program offer advanced basketball clinics and mentorship opportunities.

In addition to Chi League Parks, the Park District offers a variety of other youth programming in the summer. In 2013, the Park District offered 14,721 programs that engaged 223,353 young people in Chicago.

###

For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,100 acres of parkland, more than 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or contact the Chicago Park District at 312.742.PLAY or 312.747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312.742.PLAY.