The Atlanta Hawks have unveiled a nostalgic jersey patch that holds deep sentimental value for players, including General Manager Landry Fields.
In a groundbreaking multiyear partnership announced today, the Hawks and the YMCA of Metro Atlanta have joined forces. The iconic YMCA Y logo will now grace the Hawks' jerseys, marking an exciting collaboration. Established in 1858 and serving over 250,000 individuals across 35 locations in metro Atlanta, the YMCA has been a pillar of the community. The Hawks, in partnership with Excel Sports Management, will debut the new Y patch during their in-season tournament game against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.
For Landry Fields, the YMCA is more than just a logo; it's a place of personal significance. Fields shared his connection to the Lakewood YMCA in Long Beach, California, where he grew up playing basketball and learning to swim. The alignment of the YMCA's outreach and philosophy with the Hawks' "True to Atlanta" mantra makes this partnership uniquely meaningful.
With a focus on youth programming, the YMCA aims to leverage the sponsorship to inspire the next generation through Hawks players, coaching staff, and talent. The Hawks plan to actively support the YMCA's initiatives promoting social responsibility and inclusive communities. Additionally, campaigns will be launched to attract new YMCA members and raise funds in support of the Y's mission.
The YMCA's iconic Y symbol will feature prominently on all Hawks uniforms, as well as those of the G League College Park Skyhawks and the NBA 2K League affiliate Hawks Talon GC, both virtually and physically.
Hawks guard Trae Young, set to open the Young Family Athletic Center in Norman, Oklahoma, in January, credits his YMCA days in Norman for inspiring this philanthropic venture. Other Hawks players, including Kobe Bufkin and A.J. Griffin, share similar YMCA roots, underlining the profound impact this partnership holds for the team and the community.
Young expressed, "Having a gym that was always accessible to me was always helpful. And it's just something that was on the top of my mind when it came to what I should do for the city [of Norman] and for the community. And I thought that [the athletic center] was the best thing for it and is kind of related back to how I grew up." The Hawks are poised to blend their on-court prowess with community impact, uniting the thrill of basketball with the spirit of the YMCA.
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