2K Foundations, the philanthropic arm of 2K that supports and inspires underserved communities by directly investing in local enrichment programs, has unveiled its latest project and first in Asia. In partnership with the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF), 2K Foundations recently completed renovation of the basketball courts at Okubo Park in Tokyo’s Shinjuku City.
The new courts were created together with go parkey, an organization that aims to spread sports culture by creating safer and more beautiful parks - and places for community interaction - through “art court” refurbishment featuring designs from local artists. go parkey believes the artistic quality of its courts can stimulate creative motivation in children, as well as serve as a connective tissue for people from all over the world.
For the Okubo Park project, the teams selected Japanese artist FATE for the overall court concept and design. Deeply rooted in street art, FATE was a natural choice for participation, as the theme of the courts is inspired by the energy and environments of the city. Further, the shapes and patterns serve as a direct reflection of Shinjuku’s vibrance as one of the world’s largest urban neighborhoods.
“This project brings back great memories from our gold medal run in the Tokyo Olympics,” said Kevin Durant. “The game is so global now. I hope this court is a haven for Japan’s next generation of hoopers.”
“The court was made possible by many people: go parkey for putting together such a great court, NBA star Kevin Durant for sponsoring it, and 2K Foundations for making it possible,” said Kenichi Yoshizumi, Mayor of Shinjuku City. “It is truly wonderful that such a bright topic was provided in the midst of the sad and unfortunate news that has been spreading these days. I am sure you will all play (on this court) from now on, and I would like to support you!”
The new courts are available for the local community to use and recently, an opening celebration was held that included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi, as well as local children who were invited to participate in pick-up basketball games and skills challenges.
Over the last year, 2K Foundations has grown its efforts to support a number of projects, representing communities around the globe and showcasing the program’s expansion to include career and learning initiatives, expanded access to sports through golf clinics and tournaments, community enrichment opportunities through music and upgraded studios, and much more. To date, Okubo Park marks the 26th court project for 2K Foundations, with other recent projects including a refurbished and redesigned basketball court at Sojourner Truth Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota with 3x NBA All-Star and 2022 3-point contest champion Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves. In the coming years, 2K Foundations will continue supporting international projects and investing in local communities by renovating fields in partnership with world-class artists and athletes.
KDCF has developed direct programs and initiatives to support youth across the US, in Kevin Durant’s hometown, and internationally. The foundation’s four program pillars are: The Durant Center, which currently houses the College Track program serving 230+ students; BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL, our global basketball court renovation initiative; Team Durant AAU, with 17 Boys and Girls youth basketball teams focused on developing well-rounded student athletes; and Emergency Relief Fund, strategic grantmaking in response to natural disasters and large-scale emergencies. Since launching its BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL initiative in 2015, KDCF has funded the renovation, building, and transformation of 28 basketball court projects all over the world.