LAHAINA - Spearheaded by EA Sports, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Maui Invitational basketball tournament, former pro basketball star Nancy Lieberman and the World Ventures Foundation gave Lahaina a present on Oct. 25 when they cut the ribbon on a beautiful new basketball court at Lahaina Civic Center.
Lieberman chose Lahaina as the site of the ninth "Dream Court" she has helped build across the nation, after she became aware of the need while attending the annual college tournament several years ago.
Lieberman, representatives of the World Ventures Foundation, and county officials Keith Regan and Zeke Kalua joined Tournament Chairman Dave Odom in unveiling the court after a Hawaiian blessing.
Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman teaches a Boys & Girls Club member how to spin a basketball.
Members of Maui Boys & Girls Clubs christened the colorful court by shooting hoops with Lieberman, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, who created her own foundation "to give children of communities fabulous basketball courts to play on, meet friends and spend time in a healthy and active environment."
Located on a former tennis court at Lahaina Civic Center, the court has a plastic-like mesh surface done up in bright orange and blue.
Open for public use, the outdoor court will be home to youth basketball programs run by the county Department of Parks and Recreation.
Mayor Alan Arakawa, who was out of the country, said in a statement that "the county is working hard to meet the needs of our community by improving and rehabilitating our County Parks facilities. This generous donation will bring immediate relief to the lack of courts in West Maui. We are also appreciative to Kemper-Lesnik, organizers of the EA Sports Maui Invitational."
The 2013 tournament runs from Nov. 25-27 at Lahaina Civic Center and features Arkansas, Baylor, California, Dayton, Gonzaga, Minnesota, Syracuse and Chaminade.
Tickets are available at www.mauiinvitational.com.