National Make a Difference Day does acts of kindness around neighborhood

Saturday was National Make a Difference Day.

PHOENIX - This National Make a Difference Day, 12 News teamed up with the Arizona Cardinals, Heart for the City, and Shea Homes to not only clean up a playground, but install a new basketball court. 

Volunteers flooded into the Phoenix Christian Youth Center Saturday morning, rakes and trash bins in hand.

As soon as the playground was cleaned up, volunteers turned their attention to installing a brand new basketball court. 

"Sport is just a tool to develop relationships, and develop mentoring," said Joe Eriquez with Heart for the City, an organization that works with inner-city youth. 

The plastic will go on top of the current cement to provide a safer game. 

Former Cardinals NFL player Michael Bankston has firsthand experience with playing on cement courts as he grew up. 

"I grew up from humble beginnings," said Bankston, "which a lot of professional athletes have grown up in, and one of the things we had was sports. Sports was an opportunity for us to have an outlet. Sports was the opportunity to go to college, have a secondary education ... Being able to overcome [adversity] in short period of time gave us that motivation." 

He said he hopes this new basketball court will do the same for a whole new generation of athletes. 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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