Photo: Sacramento Kings Assistant Coach Nancy Lieberman leads a ribbon-cutting at the Sacramento DreamCourt provided by her charity and the WorldVentures Foundation.
The WorldVentures Foundation and Nancy Lieberman Charities this month christened their latest DreamCourt in Sacramento, California. The organizations have partnered to build 22 of the multipurpose play spaces in lower-income communities across the U.S.
The new court in Sacramento’s Del Paso Heights is a gift to the community from WNBA legend Nancy Lieberman, who joined the Sacramento Kings last summer as only the second female assistant coach in the NBA. Lieberman’s charity and the WorldVentures Foundation created the DreamCourts initiative to help children develop skills in a safe and competitive environment. The courts themselves are a product of Connor Sport Court International, the outfit recently tapped to install hardwoods at downtown Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center, soon-to-be home of the Kings franchise.
“I am living the dream that every one of the kids who will play on this court will have one day,” Lieberman said at the unveiling of the Sacramento DreamCourt, where members of the community were joined by city officials, Kings players and cheerleaders and WorldVentures representatives. “DreamCourts are not just places to play basketball; they are places to set goals, to find purpose, to carve a path to the future and to envision the possibilities.”
A handful of DreamCourts have resulted from partnerships with brands or public figures such as Lieberman, and even boxing great Muhammad Ali, but those are exceptions to the rule. Typically, independent representatives of group travel agency WorldVentures raise money to bring the courts to their communities, in a testament to one of the brand’s core values: Care and Contribute. In some cases, representatives cover the cost of a court—some $25,000 to $30,000—over a couple years of steady fundraising, while other groups muster the funds in a matter of months.
“Depending on the size of the court and how elaborate the team wants it to be, they can get together and raise X amount of dollars,” said representative April Consulo, who led the effort to bring a DreamCourt to Atlanta. “You can do a lot of things from there. It starts with the basketball court, but it can include lights, benches, elaborate logos—depending on how much money we think we can raise as a team.”
In Atlanta, Consulo and a coalition of local representatives auctioned off concert tickets, artwork, and even dinner with regional sales leaders to fund the project. Herself a singer and Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter, Consulo also leveraged connections in the music industry to hold benefit concerts. In the end the funds came together in less than four months, and Atlanta got its DreamCourt in the summer of 2014.
WorldVentures partners with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to install DreamCourts at the organization’s local clubs, where young people congregate for after-school programs. At the Atlanta chapter, the new court bordered a wall marred by gang signs and other graffiti. Here the representatives once again took the initiative, and with the help of an artist—another friend of Consulo’s—painted a 96-foot mural on the offending wall. Home-improvement giant The Home Depot donated the considerable supply of paint that went into the project.
“This is really about the team coming together,” Consulo said of the DreamCourt initiative. “Whether we’re doing a barbecue or picnic, or charging $20 to go bowling with half of the proceeds going to the DreamCourt, the point is that we’re trying to create a family and a culture. The end result is to create this amazing legacy.”
Ten-year-old WorldVentures also is building a legacy of service through its VolunTourism trips, which are group vacations with a social purpose, and volunteer opportunities tied to company training events. Representatives planning to attend UNITED, the company’s upcoming international convention in Orlando, Florida, can sign on for a large-scale Volunteer Day supporting the local Boys & Girls Club. WorldVentures also plans to leave its mark on the city with the gift of a brand-new DreamCourt.