CHICAGO — The first of eight free Nike-sponsored basketball clinics throughout the city this summer will be held at West Englewood's Ogden Park Saturday.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled Nike's CHI LEAGUE PARKS program over the weekend, saying it will be an extension of the city's Windy City Hoops project.
"It came about because we have a vision to inspire Chicago kids to maximize their potential on and off the court," said Cindy Hamilton, a Nike spokeswoman, of the company's partnership with the city.
Children who are 9 to 18 years old could sign up for the Saturday clinics either at their local park or on the Chicago Park District website.
The clinics, taught by Nike's "basketball experts," will offer age-appropriate skills training, Hamilton said.
The clinics will also "bring in role models that can speak to the kids about the possibilities off the court," Hamilton said.
Special guests will likely include professional athletes and executives in the sports industry.
All participants will also get a T-shirt as souvenirs.
The dates and locations for the clinics are:
• June 15 – Ogden Park (West Englewood)
• June 22 – Jackson Park (Woodlawn)
• June 29 – Fernwood Park (Roseland)
• July 13 – Columbus Park (Austin)
• July 20 – Garfield Park (East Garfield Park)
• July 27 – Loyola Park (Rogers Park)
• Aug. 3 – Franklin Park (North Lawndale)
• Aug. 10 – Amundsen Park (Austin)
Nike is also sponsoring CHI LEAGUE, a 10-team amateur tournament that will be playing games Saturday and Sunday at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School starting June 15.
The first weekend will feature appearances by professional basketball players Anthony Davis, who played basketball for Perspectives Charter School, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Davis' teammate at the University of Kentucky.