Full Court Refresh: Milwaukee part of effort headed by Coors Light to update outdoor basketball courts

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — It’s the time of year when recreational basketball begins to become an outdoor game again in places like Milwaukee. Kenny Smith, a sports analyst for TNT knows that cycle, as a native New Yorker. He’s working with Coors Light for the second year in a row on a program to refurbish outdoor courts in select cities.

“When you put on a new sweater, you feel good. It doesn’t mean that you’ve changed your whole environment around you, but you feel good about yourself, so I use that same logic when you put a new sweater on that court in your neighborhood,” Smith said.

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Last year, four cities got court upgrades. This year, eight cities are involved, including Milwaukee for the very first time. The program involves following Coors Light on Twitter. Each time someone tweets using two specific hashtags, a donation is made — up to $25,000 per city.

“It’s really a community aspect — not just the playing aspect. Your court is usually a community aspect. If it looks good, you feel good about your community, so that’s why I was part of it,” Smith said.

Smith is part of a rollicking studio crew that breaks down NBA basketball. Count those guys as surprised by the job first year Milwaukee Bucks Coach Jason Kidd is doing.

“Very surprised, to be honest with you. Jason’s done a great job. He obviously saw things that we didn’t see when he left Brooklyn in that team. He saw the potential and the chance to maybe coach that team and to get them and nourish them,” Smith said.

Smith has another connection to basketball in Milwaukee. In 1986, he was on the number one, undefeated North Carolina that came to town and beat Marquette. After the game, a fan tried to steal a suitcase off the Tar Heels bus. North Carolina guard Steve Hale got out and ran them down.

“I remember all of that. You guys out there, man. We got to watch our backs. There was a guy taking one of our bags off the bus after the game, but even the funnier part of that was, it was a two-point game, and I was at the free throw line with the score tied and I’m shooting my free throw and someone throws a penny and it hit me. I didn’t even know what it was. I was like ‘I’m not going to look. I’m not going to pay attention. I am going to make sure we win this game,’ and I looked down — it was on heads, so I picked it up,” Smith said.

Now, all these years later, he’s trying to spruce it up in Milwaukee.


  • Mr. Bob

    Oh yeah this is just what milwaukee needs, refurbished basketball courts hopefully with lighting added so that games can continue all night long. Then when disputes arise on the courts at night, felons will be able to see better as they fire their weapons at their opponents resulting in more murders!!!

    • Mr. Bob

      No they will continue to just police themselves as they have been doing since that is working so well….

  • chris

    What a waste of money. Donate the cash to children’s hospital. At least then something good might come out if it. Quit giving these pos handouts. If they want their bassetball courts fixed up let them pay for it themselves

  • Bin

    Hope they have security on duty, every summer fights break out and someone is killed. Why don’t we put the money into a better safety plan for our community and the little kids! Not grown folks who fight over bball games. Put money into the day camps, The y camps.

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