Nancy Lieberman Charities donates hoops courts to Nassau County

Jeff Bessen for LI Herald

March 25, 2021

Originally published in Long Island Herald on March 25, 2021.

Nancy Lieberman Charities, founded by the iconic and groundbreaking basketball player from Queens, is donating five new hoops courts valued at $325,000 to Nassau County. Two of the locations are in the Five Towns – Inwood Park and North Woodmere Park – the third is Wantagh Park with the two remaining sites to be identified by the county in the near future, officials said.

“I am honored and humbled by this gracious donation from Nassau native, basketball icon and generous philanthropist, Nancy Lieberman, which will provide local youth with more safe places to build friendships, build confidence and compete throughout our cherished county parks,” County Executive Laura Curran stated in a news release. “These new state-of-the-art basketball courts will be a game-changer for our communities and I must thank Senator Todd Kaminsky for the introduction to Nancy and her incredible organization which led to this generous gift.”

Lieberman, 62, a standout basketball, graduated from Far Rockaway High School and attended Old Dominion University in Virginia from 1976 to 1980. Known as “Lady Magic,” the point guard played and coached in the WNBA and is now a broadcaster for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. Considered one of the greatest women hoopsters of all time, Lieberman is in both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat who represents the Five Towns, introduced Liberman to county officials. The nonprofit organization will oversee the construction and installation of the courts. The first “Dream Court” is anticipated to be ready by mid-summer.   

“Basketball legend Nancy Lieberman confronted adversity and worked hard to become a professional athlete and coach — but she never forgot where she came from.” Kaminsky said in the same release. “Her amazing gift will provide our children with a safe place to recreate and foster a lifelong love of basketball and teamwork. When Nancy reached out to me about this opportunity, I knew right away that the children of Nassau County could benefit from her foundation's generosity.”

The Dream Court™ program focuses on building high quality basketball courts for children in underserved communities across the country. The goal is to keep children off the streets and provide them with a safe and competitive environment where they can develop skills such as teamwork and good sportsmanship.  The foundation also supports other programs including “Cops and Kids” initiative, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and Civic Engagement programming.

“I couldn't be happier to be adding to all that Nassau County does for children,” Lieberman said in the release. “To have Dream Courts in areas that I grew up playing is one of the most wonderful things that I believe that we can give back to communities that enriched us as young people. I look forward to the partnership.”

The parks department will be responsible for any maintenance after the courts are installed.  Nancy Lieberman Charities previously donated two Dream Courts to Long Beach in 2015 at the Long Beach Recreation Center. They were refurbished three years later.