NBA Champion Channing Frye joins Mobil 1 and non-profit partners to unveil the newly renovated and redesigned gym at historic Merrick House
SPRING, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mobil 1™, the Official Motor Oil of the NBA, today announced a new initiative with non-profit Project Backboard to revitalize local community basketball courts across the nation. The initiative is part of Mobil 1’s recently launched Tune Up program in which the leading Motor Oil brand is helping NBA 2K players tune up their skills, while simultaneously tuning up community courts.
“We’re really excited for the opportunity to be working with Project Backboard this year and revitalize the court at the Merrick House in Cleveland,” said Bryce Huschka, North America Consumer Marketing Manager for ExxonMobil. “In the same way that Mobil 1 helps drivers keep doing what they love, this initiative is helping communities across the nation to keep doing what they love by updating basketball courts that provide a safe and fun place for people of all ages to go and play.”
The community initiative led by Mobil 1 kicks off in Cleveland, Ohio during NBA All-Star 2022, and celebrates the reopening of the Merrick House basketball court and gymnasium. The space, which serves many purposes for the local community, was completely redesigned and revamped by Cleveland-native artist Dakarai Akil.
“Our mission at Project Backboard is to use basketball courts to create artwork that strengthens communities and promotes multi-generational play,” explained Dan Peterson, Founder of Project Backboard. “Thanks to Mobil 1 and Dakarai Akil, and Luis Perez from HERO Flooring LLC, we were able to recreate the court at Merrick House, which is rich in history but was in need of an upgrade. We’re confident the artwork and renovations will have a lasting positive impact on the community.”
Merrick House has been an integral part of the Cleveland community for more than 100 years while offering members a wide range of meaningful services including infant child care, preschool, and youth mentoring to adult education and recreation. The much-needed renovations to the basketball court will help the historic neighborhood center continue to empower its community with confidence.
“Throughout its history, Merrick House has been a place to come for support, growth and learning as well as a way to escape the stresses of everyday,” shared Harriet Hadley, Executive Director, Merrick House. “We are so grateful that Mobil 1 and Project Backboard recognized how special our space is to the community and chose us to be a part of the Tune Up initiative. We know our members, especially the children, will benefit greatly from the new basketball court.”
Former Cleveland Cavaliers player and NBA Champion Channing Frye will join Mobil 1 and Project Backboard at Merrick House on February 18 to celebrate the opening of the new gym and meet the community members who will benefit from the renovation. Frye, who has established various foundations throughout his career to help young children and give back to cities that are important to him, is leveling up his dedication to supporting at-risk communities with his involvement in the Tune Up initiative.
“The work Mobil 1 and Project Backboard are doing in Cleveland is really meaningful,” said Channing Frye. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to return to a city that holds a special place in my heart to help reopen a space that has such a positive impact on the community.”
As a part of the efforts to improve the facilities at Merrick House, leading technology company Microsoft and nonprofit organization Hoopbus will join Mobil 1 and Project Backboard for the unveiling event in Cleveland. Microsoft will showcase the newly upgraded computer lab and Hoopbus will host community members in exciting programming while utilizing the new gym.
About Mobil 1
Mobil 1™ motor oil is the world’s leading brand of synthetic motor oil. Our advanced technology allows Mobil 1 motor oils to meet or exceed some of the industry’s toughest standards and to provide exceptional protection under even extreme driving conditions. Mobil 1 motor oil is designed to help protect critical engine parts, maximize engine performance, and extend engine life. For more information, visit us online at www.mobil1.us or and follow @Mobil1 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Project Backboard
Project Backboard is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to renovate public basketball courts and install large scale works of art on the surface in order to strengthen communities, improve park safety, encourage multi-generational play, and inspire people to think more critically and creatively about their environment. For more information, visit us online at https://projectbackboard.org/ or and follow @project_backboard on Instagram.
ExxonMobil Media Relations, 972-940-6007