Touchdown! NFL Star to Bring Life-Changing Facility to Upstate NY Kids
Depending on where you live, not every young athlete grows up with a place to play.
Now, of course, there are overgrown soccer fields, sandlot baseball fields and basketball hoops without nets everywhere across America, and kids have been playing sports on those for generations. That being said, when the weather gets too hot, too cold or too rainy, not everyone has the chance to go inside.
Not only that, but at one point or another, young athletes need resources in order to take their athletic careers to the next level.
NFL running back Latavius Murray was in that situation growing up in Nedrow, New York, and now, he's making sure that the next generation of Upstate New York kids will be playing inside very soon.
NFL Running Back Murray to Fund New Multi-Purpose Facility in Upstate NY
As reported in an article from Syracuse.com, Murray, the veteran of eight NFL seasons, is in the early stages of building a multi-purpose facility/community center in the town of Nedrow, New York, just outside of Syracuse in Onondaga County.
As the article states, Murray's goal is to create a facility near neighborhoods with heavy populations of kids, that has "access a gym, computers, classrooms and safe, comfortable lounges to hang out with friends."
This isn't a project that came out of nowhere for Latavius Murray, either, as he has had his eye on bringing a facility to his hometown since he began his NFL career. Of course, projects like these aren't cheap, so he had to wait.
The wait lasted until last year, when Murray co-founded a non-profit organization to start the process of creating a community center from scratch. Funds are in the process of being raised, and Murray's group is currently in negotiations for the actual plot of land on which the center will be located.
Unfortunately, with the land not officially agreed upon, we haven't been able to see any mock-ups or schematics of the building, but based on the description above, it seems like it's going to be a large and modern final product.
That being said, Steve James, an OCS middle school teacher said that the project wouldn't be done for "a couple of years." James has been part of the project since its inception, according to the article.
New Facility to Be Dedicated to Friend of Murray's Who Died Tragically
The community center will also be named after Jon Diaz, a childhood friend of Murray's and a long-time resident of the area. Diaz taught kids as a substitute teacher, as well as outside of school hours at the Redhouse Arts Center. Diaz was tragically shot in November of 2016, and was unarmed when the incident occurred.
So, for NFL running back Latavius Murray, the benefits of this project are actually two-fold, if not more. You create a safe space for future generations in your home town in Western New York, and memorialize a pillar of the community, in the process.