Shaq returns home to Newark, NJ to unveil new basketball court
Professional basketball Hall of Famer and Newark native Shaquille O’Neal unveiled a new “Comebaq Court” in his hometown this week.
What is a Comebaq Court, you ask. According to a statement, it is a “refurbishment effort for existing public basketball courts that could use some TLC.”
The program is an effort of the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation along with Icy Hot. The first such court opened in Las Vegas in 2021.
"Giving back through this Comebaq Court in my hometown is really special," Shaquille O'Neal said. "This effort will have a lasting impact on a community near and dear to my heart."
"Shaquille O'Neal is a Newark native who has brought this city glory and fame on the NBA court and given back to us through community commitment and investment," Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said. "The new 'Comebaq Court' is another example of these works, that will greatly benefit our youth. It will rapidly become part of our state-of-the-art recreation programs that keep our youth engaged and healthy."
According to the Aspen Institute, local athletic programs that typically serve youth at scale won't be able to recover from the struggles of the past few years at the same pace as larger, organized student sports teams with private resources. The "Comebaq Courts" project seeks to mitigate such inequities by offering updated spaces for athletes to resume community sports activities.
Shaq was also in town for the topping off a 33-story mixed-use, mixed-income development. Shaq will have a penthouse apartment in the building, which, according to ABC 7 in New York, is informally referred to as “Shaq Tower 2.”
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