Pascal Siakam’s PS43 is Empowering Communities Through Sports
This fall, in an incredible display of unity and community empowerment, Alexandra Park in Toronto celebrated the grand reopening of its freshly refurbished basketball court. This significant milestone was made possible through a collaborative effort between Their Opportunity, the PS43 Foundation, the John Tavares Foundation, Tridel, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), and the Alexandra Park Community Centre (APCC).
The revitalized basketball court at the centre of the park is a testament to the collective dedication of these organizations toward enhancing sports facilities and community engagement in this vibrant downtown Toronto neighbourhood. The youth, enrolled in programs at the community center, had the unique opportunity to refine their skills alongside basketball legend Pascal Siakam and John Tavares, Captain and Centre for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Siakam, NBA AllStar, power forward, and philanthropist, is no stranger to making moves that unite communities—especially not in his second home of Toronto. His dedication to making a difference led him to create the PS43 Foundation, a notfor-profit organization rooted in the values of family and inspiring dreamers.
The Foundation seeks unique ways to make a difference in the lives of children through education, tying in financial literacy, sports, and life skills to inspire kids to dream big and, better yet, give them a chance to achieve their dreams.
In 2021, the PS43 Foundation launched Coding for Champions, a program aiming to bridge the digital divide and encourage children to pursue technological education by providing students within the Greater Toronto Area with opportunities to learn and develop various computer science-focused skills such as coding and programming.
The following year, PS43 partnered with The Kickback Foundation, a Toronto-based grassroots initiative that engages underserved communities through sneaker culture, creating unique educational experiences for young people of diverse backgrounds. The partnership provided the Kickback Foundation with funds for future initiatives and 30 pairs of sneakers.
“The City of Toronto has been home to my family and me, and what makes this City special is the people,” he said of his Foundation’s involvement with the Alexandra Park renovation. “This court is a place where all youth can come together to play, work on their skills, and build connections. We know how important working hard and practicing can be, and we’re grateful to be able to contribute to a space like this where people can do that together through sport and community.”
The transformation of the Alexandra Park basketball court included a professionally resurfaced playing surface and brand-new basketball poles and hoops. Beyond meeting the community's need for improved sports facilities, this renovation fosters a sense of unity and empowerment among residents.
“For our tenants, this is more than just a basketball court,” said Tom Hunter, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer at Toronto Community Housing. “It’s a place for the community to gather and a spot for children and youth to have fun and dream about the future. I have no doubt it will become the heart of this vibrant community and a welcoming space for all neighbours to enjoy.
“On behalf of TCHC, I want to thank Pascal Siakam, John Tavares, Randy Gill, their respective foundations, our developer partner Tridel, and everyone involved in making the new court a reality for our Alexandra Park families. We're beyond grateful.”
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