MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Bucks player Pat Connaughton is paying for a new gym at Neighborhood House of Milwaukee.
On Wednesday, the Neighborhood House of Milwaukee learned of a grant from Connaughton that will go towards refurbishing their 1967 gym.
When Connaughton had first heard about the Neighborhood House of Milwaukee, it reminded him of Fidelity House in Arlington, Mass. where he went to preschool and learned to play and love basketball.
"The more I learned about what it did, the more it reminded me of my old stomping grounds. I became convinced I wanted to do something for the youth it serves," said Connaughton.
Connaughton visited the gym and realized that something needs to be done. So, he paid for a new one.
“I was a bit surprised when I first saw the gym,” Connaughton said. “It was far more dated then I expected. The floor is tile, the lights throw off a yellow cast. But the youth loved basketball and were very good shooters.”
According to a press release from Neighborhood House of Milwaukee, the idea of a new gym never seemed realistic due to all the other things Neighborhood House needed. Then, Connaughton stepped in.
“We are very grateful for his extraordinary gift,” Jeff Martinka, NH Executive Director, said. “It is especially exciting as it comes just as we are about to celebrate our 75th anniversary of serving Milwaukee youth and families, and as our celebration plans have been cut short by COVID-19. Now we will have something really great to celebrate.”
The donation is not the only thing Connaughton is providing, though. He also plans to host a clinic at the new gym once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
“This is not just about a room,” Connaughton said. “It’s about teaching and inspiring kids for the rest of their lives. I hope to do for them what basketball and the life lessons I learned through Fidelity House did for me.”