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Hoops and Hope: Celebrating Black History and Community

Hoops and Hope: Celebrating Black History and Community

Watkins Park 2023

Vanderbilt University is collaborating with Pepsi, Hoopbus and Metro
Nashville Parks to introduce an all-new outdoor basketball court at Watkins Park in North Nashville. The partnership is part of a broader initiative to promote local community engagement and physical activity throughout the greater Nashville area. Representatives from Vanderbilt University, Pepsi, Hoopbus and Metro Nashville Parks will be in attendance to commemorate the occasion and speak to the importance of community and wellness.

The new court will be debuted at the “Hoops and Hope: Celebrating Black History and Community” grand opening event, a celebration of the resilience, creativity and hope of the North Nashville community. The event will take place on Thursday, June 15 between 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. CST, and it will also serve as an early Juneteenth commemoration and will spotlight the legacy of Perry Wallace, the first African American basketball player in the Southeastern Conference. Wallace, who died in 2017, made history when he enrolled at Vanderbilt in 1966 and broke the color barrier in the SEC.

The revamped court will also feature a beautiful community mural in the center, created by
Madison Brinnon and Donovan Sheffield. It will be dedicated to the contributions of North
Nashville to local and national Civil Rights progress, honoring and preserving the history of the
area. During the grand opening, the North Nashville Arts Coalition will lead an additional project
focused on designing another community-created mural that will be on display at Watkins
Community Center.

The event will feature basketball clinics, dunk contest and activities for all ages, as well as food and music. There will also be accepting either new or gently used sports equipment donations
benefiting the thousands of youth that utilize community center programming throughout
Nashville metropolitan area.

To learn more contact, and