NORTH MIAMI, Fla. - The NBA and Miami Heat opened a new NBA Cares center in North Miami on Friday.
State Farm helped renovate the Joe Celestin Center, located at 1525 NW 135th Street.
Burnie helped NBA Commissioner David Stern cut the ribbon during the grand opening.
"This is about our DNA," said Stern. "We believe, through NBA Cares, that everyone and anyone who is in our position has an obligation to give back to the community and to be leaders in social responsibility, and so this is our signature. Every place we go -- All-Star, finals, exhibition games around the world -- it's our obligation to shine the light on things that people should be doing and to help communities in which we operate."
The remodeled facility includes a library, where Shane Battier and Norris Cole read for kids.
"Not everybody has the opportunity to have the resources to learn, to have the updated books, the iPad, the video games, and have a facility that is safe and have people that want to work with them," said Cole.
Rashard Lewis worked with children in the computer lab.
"When you have centers like this, it is like when school is out, this is a place like a second school that you come to over the summer to do activities throughout the day to keep yourself busy," he said.
Inside the game room, kids played board games alongside NBA legends. Mario Chalmers was thrilled by the video game consoles inside.
"It's a great facility," he said. "It is a great opportunity for them to come and hang out and further their education."
"This is amazing," added Haslem. "I actually played here at Pepper Park growing up. It was just one of the parks that we traveled to to get great basketball pick-up games, and to see what it was then and what it is now -- it's amazing."
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