Former Stephenson High student initiates renovation efforts to give back
LITHONIA, GA—DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson announced the unveiling and ribbon-cutting of the all-new Bruce Street basketball court, 2566 Bruce St., Lithonia, on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 12:30 p.m.
The improvements of the basketball court were initiated and supported by community partner, Alade Aminu, a professional basketball player and business owner of a new luxury sports lounge in Marietta, GA. Aminu is a former student of the DeKalb County Public School system who attended Stephenson High and went on to play basketball at Georgia Tech University and competed in the Olympics as a member of the Nigerian National basketball team.
Earlier this year, Commissioner Davis Johnson announced that improvements to the basketball court would include resurfacing, restriping and custom artwork designed by Atlanta-based nonprofit, Art In the Paint. The custom design merges art, culture, and sports together to provide inspiration to the youths and community who will use the court.
“I am appreciative to the partnership with Mr. Aminu and all of our partners for working diligently to provide this wonderful asset to our beloved community in the City of Lithonia,” Commissioner Davis Johnson said.
Commissioner Davis Johnson also expressed her excitement to welcome members of the Lithonia Middle School basketball teams to the event on Nov. 30.
“My commitment to fostering a safe and nurturing environment for youth engagement in the community is deeply rooted,” Aminu said. “Growing up on the Eastside, playing basketball was not just a pastime, but a cherished part of my identity. Establishing this initiative is my way of giving back, ensuring that the next rising star from my neighborhood has a dedicated space to hone their skills and realize their full potential in the game.”
The project is a source of pride for the Bruce Street community, located in the city of Lithonia. DeKalb County’s first public school for black students—the Bruce Street School— was constructed in the community in the 1930s. Recently, a new senior center complex opened on land that is also the site of the old school ruins listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The new center replaced the aging former Bruce Street Senior Center.
“The City of Lithonia admires the strength of our youth,” said Lithonia Mayor Shameka Reynolds. “This court is history, and we will cherish this gift for years to come. The city is forever grateful.”