DETROIT, Mich. – January 7, 2015 – The Detroit Pistons today announced a $300,000 philanthropic contribution to the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) to support youth recreation basketball in Metro Detroit.

Funds will be used to create and operate a new recreational basketball league, which does not currently exist at this magnitude and impact, in partnership with the Detroit Recreation Department and other recreation centers around Metro Detroit. Over 2,100 children will have the opportunity to receive basketball instruction and access to mentoring and leadership development from trained volunteers and Detroit Police officers. Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson will serve as honorary captain of the newly created league, connecting with youth through instructional videos, participation collateral and selected appearances.

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“Sports teach valuable lessons about teamwork, leadership and commitment,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “I’ve had the opportunity to coach many youth sports teams myself over the years and have seen the benefits first hand. Kids in Detroit need more opportunities to play in a safe environment and mentors who can help them learn important life skills. Working with Detroit PAL to create this new league extends our commitment to inspire positive change throughout the community.”

The new recreational basketball league aligns directly with the Detroit Pistons’ “Jr. Pistons” affinity club and the NBA’s “Jr. NBA” program which drives youth basketball interest and participation for boys and girls ages 6-14. Co-branded uniforms will be provided for each participant while youngsters and coaches can engage with the team through its affinity clubs, http://www.pistons.com/fanclubs, and the Jr. NBA through http://www.jrnba.com. Youngsters and parents looking for information on signing up for the newly created league can call the Detroit PAL office at (313) 833-1600.

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“We’re pleased to partner with Detroit PAL in creating a recreation basketball league that will impact thousands of youngsters in the Detroit community,” said PS&E Vice Chairman Arn Tellem. “Basketball and sports can serve as a great unifying force that creates opportunity and promotes youth achievement. We support Detroit PAL’s efforts to in building strong communities through sport.”

The $300,000 funding is being provided by donations from Gores, Tellem and the Detroit Pistons Foundation.

“We are extremely grateful to the Detroit Pistons for supporting our ongoing mission to build character in kids through our athletic programs and ensure that every child in every neighborhood in Detroit has the opportunity to participate,” said Detroit PAL CEO Tim Richey. “We are committed to the neighborhoods and this partnership will allow us to bring organized basketball into every community around the city. We are excited to see the impact this partnership will have on kids all around Detroit.”

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Detroit PAL is a non-profit organization positively impacting the lives of 13,000 children annually through character building, sports and leadership programs. Created in partnership with the Detroit Police Department in 1969, Detroit PAL’s sustains a growing community of over 1,900 adult mentors who volunteer over 250,000 hours each year in programming for youth. Detroit PAL has a strong relationship with the Detroit Recreation Department (DRD), and is committed to helping the DRD program its 17 recreation facilities in the seven districts of Detroit.