MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Bucks player Pat Connaughton is paying for a new gym at Neighborhood House of Milwaukee.
"The more I learned about what it did, the more it reminded me of my old stomping grounds. I became convinced I wanted to do something for the youth it serves," said Pat Connaughton. "I was a bit surprised when I first saw the gym. It was far more dated then I expected. The floor is tile, the lights throw off a yellow cast. But the youth loved basketball and were very good shooters."
“This grant is my dream come true,” said Norm McGee, NH Program Director and former draftee by the San Francisco 49ers. “I have long wanted a great space for our children and youth. It is one of our most used spaces. The new gym will become the best room in our facility.”
Jeff Martinka, NH Executive Director, said that the organization had so many other needs that redoing the gym did not seem realistic until Connaughton stepped in almost out of nowhere.
"We are very grateful for his extraordinary gift,” Martinka said. “It is especially exciting as it comes just as we are about to celebrate our 75th anniversary of serving Milwaukee youth and families, and as our celebration plans have been cut short by COVID-19. Now we will have something really great to celebrate."
Connaughton’s generosity does not end with this gift. When the COVID pandemic finally subsides, he plans to host a basketball clinic for Neighborhood House’s youth.
"This is not just about a room,” Connaughton said. “It’s about teaching and inspiring kids for the rest of their lives. I hope to do for them what basketball and the life lessons I learned through Fidelity House did for me."