Bigger Than Basketball: The NCAA Renovates Morris F.X. Jeff Sr. Basketball Court for the 2022 Men’s Final Four Legacy Project

NCAA and Degree to leave a legacy with the renovation of Morris F.X. Jeff Sr. Basketball Court

NEW ORLEANS – (Nov. 30, 2021) – Today, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Degree and the 2022 Men’s Final Four Local Organizing Committee (LOC) announced plans to renovate the basketball court at Morris F. X. Jeff Sr. Park, formerly Behrman Park, in New Orleans as part of the 2022 Men’s Final Four Legacy Project. The LOC is comprised of Tulane University, the University of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.

Each year, the NCAA is committed to leave a legacy in the Men’s Final Four host city to foster goodwill and sportsmanship in the local community. Thanks to an investment from Degree, representatives from both organizations, in addition to the LOC, will rebuild the Morris F. X. Jeff Sr. Basketball Court to ensure all ages have a space to play.

“Marking Degree’s second year supporting the Final Four Legacy Project, we’re thrilled to participate in the court refurbishment of Morris F.X. Jeff Sr. Park and ensure that all New Orleanians, from youth to senior citizens, have access to safe spaces to move in their community,” said Desi Okeke, Director for Degree Deodorant. “Through this initiative, the brand is proud to advance our larger Breaking Limits Program – an ongoing commitment supporting those who face the biggest barriers to being active, providing them access to coaches, mentors, and resources, and ultimately empowering them with the confidence and opportunity to move beyond limits.”

Located in Algiers, the site was selected due to its history in the community and a commitment from the City of New Orleans and the NCAA to provide quality recreational facilities to its neighbors, residents and fans. The court will be refurbished beginning in January, with plans for an unveiling in late March as the 2022 Men’s Final Four comes to New Orleans. The project includes a gym renovation with updates to the basketball goals, flooring, and more as well as the additions of a teen room and fitness center for activities like barre, yoga and aerobics.

“The NCAA brings its Final Four to a new city each year, but we also work to leave a footprint or legacy in the host city that supports the Final Four, our member schools and our student-athletes,” said Ellen Lucey, director of NCAA championships engagement. “Unilever, an NCAA corporate partner, and Degree, one of its most successful brands, are investing in the New Orleans community. We will continue to work with the New Orleans local organizing committee and Degree to enhance the Morris F.X. Jeff Sr. basketball court, which will benefit local youth and others in the city.”

The basketball court at Morris F. X. Jeff Sr. Park is the oldest New Orleans Recreation Department indoor sports facility still in use. Dating back to the 1940s, the park provides a gathering place for the local community to connect over sports and countless other activities offered for all ages. The Park was named for a Recreation Department director at Xavier University who was lauded in the community for bringing recreational programs to Black youth.

“We are extremely excited to be selected by the NCAA Men’s Final Four and its local partners to be a part of their 2022 Legacy Project” said Larry Barabino, Jr., CEO of NORD. “Being selected to have the basketball court refurbished at the newly renamed Morris F. X. Jeff, Sr. Recreation Center will be a great addition to the community of Algiers.”

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About the New Orleans Local Organizing Committee

Led by Tulane University, the University of New Orleans, and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, the New Orleans Local Organizing Committee (LOC) serves as the host committee for the 2022 NCAA Men’s Final Four. Alongside the NCAA, the LOC works closely with the State of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans, ASM Global, New Orleans and Company and the Morial Convention Center to ensure the success of one of the biggest events in collegiate sports.

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