Hated game company produces lovely mural

Smiles: Retired NBA player Felipe Lopez, Brooklyn Nets’ Caris LeVert, PS 282 Principal Katerina Sidbury, and NBA Cares worker, and artist Madsteez pose at the court unveiling on June 20.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

America’s most hated video game company teamed up with the National Basketball Association to produce a vibrant new makeover for a Park Slope playground!

From above: The new court features a colorful mural by renowned artist Madsteez.
NBA Cares

The play space — located outside of PS 282 at 40 Lincoln Pl. between Fifth and Sixth avenues — features a multicolored mural by renowned West Coast artist Madsteez splattered on a basketball court there, and depicting seven outstretched arms reaching for a jump ball.

Hoops: Former ballplayer Felipe Lopez poses with Madsteez, the artistic maistro behind the new Park Slope court design.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

The renovation project was the brainchild of NBA Cares, the community outreach arm of the professional basketball league, and the video game company EA Sports, a division of Electronic Arts, which USA Today ranked fifth in its top 20 list of the nation’s most hated companies last year, citing practices that included purchasing and then ruining respected gaming studios and video game franchises, along with encouraging kids to spend outrageous sums to access popular characters in titles including 2017’s “Star Wars Battlefront II.”

Colors: The newly redesigned playground at PS 282 features a colorful basketball court design.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

More recently Electronic Arts courted controversy in the United Kingdom earlier this month, when a lawyer for the company testified before Parliament that the controversial use of so-called “loot boxes” — a form of gambling that involves purchasing randomized in-game items for cash, which have become synonymous with greed in the gaming industry — were “quite ethical and quite fun,” comparing them to Kinder Eggs candy, according to a BBC report.

Fun-damentals: Children learn basketball basics at the new Park Slope court.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

Both the real and digital sports companies organized a June 20th unveiling ceremony for the redesign, with guest appearances by the Madsteez, along with Brooklyn Nets star Caris LeVert and retired ballplayer Felipe Lopez.

Jump-shot: Local kids shoot hoops at the opening of the newly redesigned court.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

LeVert and Lopez used the opening ceremony to give shooting lessons to the gathered youth on the newly minted purple, orange, and turquoise asphalt.

One-on-one: Children play at the event on June 20, hosted by NBA cares.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

The playground is open to the public, giving hoop stars — and street art connoisseurs — access to the colorful court everyday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Cheese: NBA Cares reps pose with local children at the big unveiling on June 20.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.

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