Say what you will about NBA superstar LeBron James’ press conference earlier this year in which he held basketball fans hostage before announcing he was “taking his talents to South Beach.”

While some have called it self-serving, the press conference generated $3 million in cash and in-kind donations, with that money supporting youth programs and the building and refurbishment of vital facilities at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.

The Santa Monica branch is one of those clubs.

Today, Thursday, Dec. 16, representatives from the Boys & Girls Club, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and Deb Carson, co-host and anchor of Fox Sports Radio, will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of new basketball courts at the Santa Monica branch. The courts represent the first project completed using funds raised by the LeBron James Family Foundation, according to Jen Kim of the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club.

The courts will be used for other sports, fitness and recreation programs including tennis, baseball, soccer and roller hockey, Kim said.

The ribbon cutting will take place at 4:30 p.m. and a basketball clinic for local youth will follow.

Founded in 1944, the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica currently serves approximately 7,000 youth through memberships and community outreach. They come from all over Los Angeles County, largely from Santa Monica, Venice, West Los Angeles and Inglewood. Members pay a $20 annual fee for access to all club amenities and programs that span across education, leadership, recreation and more.

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