Devin Cannady joins fellow Orlando Magic members and AdventHealth for unveiling of refurbished basketball court at Callahan Neighborhood Center in Parramore

ORLANDO – Basketball, as you probably already know from following the NBA, is a game played around the world. No matter where you live, there’s probably a basketball hoop nearby. Some don’t have to travel very far if they have one in their driveway, backyard, or along the sidewalk. Others prefer a more traditional basketball setting in a gymnasium with hardwood floors and full air conditioning. Then there are those who enjoy the park vibe and playing under sunny skies on outdoor surfaces such as concrete or asphalt.

For someone like Devin Cannady, who eats, drinks and sleeps basketball, he’s just happy to play regardless. But, when he reflects on his basketball journey and what it took him to get to the NBA, what comes to mind, above all, are the hours he spent working on his play on the outdoor courts near where he grew up. in Mishawaka, Indiana.

“Basketball is a universal game,” he said. “I think basketball can change lives. For me, I grew up playing on a court like this. Mine had a lot more cracks, so I’m renovating one at my house myself.

Coming from where I’m from Indiana, basketball was my life. Coming to a field – not even to a gym with AC – but being outside on a field in your home community, that’s really your first introduction, your first love for the game.”

These courts have done wonders for the development of Cannady basketball. Not only that, however, they were therapeutic for him. Just hanging out on those courts has given him all the confidence in the world to aim for the stars – literally and figuratively.

With those memories still fresh in his mind, Cannady was thrilled on Wednesday to help the Orlando Magic and AdventHealth unveil a newly renovated outdoor basketball court at the Callahan Neighborhood Center in Parramore, just down the road from the Amway Center. It was the second of 20 courts Magic and AdventHealth plan to renovate in the Central Florida area, with the first completed in August at Wicklow Elementary.

Not only did he help inspire the 50 kids who attended the celebration by sharing encouraging stories with them from his basketball journey, including how he refused to let the ankle injury he suffered he over a year ago put him down, but the 26-year-old, along with community ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw and National Basketball Academy (TNBA) coaches, also showed them some basketball moves during a post-ceremony clinic on the new ground.

“What I wish they had, and what they will have, is a place to have fun, a place to be safe, to develop relationships and hopefully pursue their dreams,” did he declare. “That’s what a court like this was to me when I was their age.”

The interior of the Callahan Neighborhood Center also got a makeover, as Magic and AdventHealth unveiled a new game room complete with video game stations, study tables, foosball tables, game table electric, a mural and new sets of board games. They also surprised the center with $2,000 in sports and activity equipment and handed out Magic basketballs to each of the children.

Wednesday’s celebration was dear to the heart of Orlando District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill, as she grew up in the Parramore area and spent much of her childhood playing on that same basketball court. Grateful to Magic and AdventHealth, she is confident that these renovations will have a huge impact on so many children in this community.

“To see our kids be able to use that pitch again, especially after COVID when there was so much isolation, and be able to go into the playroom and see new game systems and foosball tables and just reconnect them with their friends in the summer is quite humbling,” she said.

To make all this “magic” happen, it’s community partnerships like the one between Magic and AdventHealth. Both care deeply about their local community and together they go above and beyond to help children reach their full potential.

“We have a thirty-year partnership with the Magic and we couldn’t be more proud of what we are able to do together in the community, and events like today represent an opportunity to make a difference in the health of children. .and the health of communities – and that’s part of our mission,” said Brian Adams, president and CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Division.

As the original Community Partner Champion, AdventHealth has worked with Magic on community projects that impact and benefit Central Florida. Magic “Champion of the Community” Partners represent organizations committed to improving the lives of all Central Floridians. Since the Magic and AdventHealth partnership began in 1989, they continue to grow their approach to community programming, unparalleled branding, and category exclusivity in healthcare while expanding their commitment to the community. local.

In addition to their work in the community, construction of the new AdventHealth Training Center and Medical Complex is nearing completion. The $70 million facility marks the latest investment in the Parramore community and is expected to open in 2022. Together, AdventHealth and the Magic are building an innovative model of health and wellness that brings together medicine, science and research to optimize athletic performance, and then bring those learnings to the wider community.

“What’s great is that our core values ​​are the same. What AdventHealth believes in, we believe in – giving back, community,” said Magic President of Business Operations Charlie Freeman. “That’s what’s great. They have been with us since day one. Coming to do these things to now put another flag in the Parramore area with the training center – we are really, really excited.

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