McDonald’s Honors Louisville’s Basketball Legacy with Unique Art Installation at Sheppard Park

September 09, 2021

The McDonald’s All-American Games is inviting Louisville hoopers to come play on the newest backboards at Sheppard Park at 1601 Magazine St. which feature unique designs that nod to the city's basketball history, its McDonald’s All American Games’ roots and local landmarks.

The Games has teamed up with artist Albert Lee to commemorate the Games’ history in Louisville by highlighting the 2007 that was hosted by Louisville and featured a star-studded class, including Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Maya Moore, James Harden, Blake Griffin and more.

Wednesday morning, the backboards were celebrated at an event featuring Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Michelle Patrick from the Louisville Branch NAACP, local McDonald’s owner/operators and Ronald McDonald, who made a ceremonial “first basket.”  

The backboards feature images representing players who took part in the boys and girls All American Games at Freedom Hall in 2007.  Each backboard also features a unique AR activation.   By scanning the QR code at the base of the basketball hoop fans have the chance to learn more about the McDonald’s All American Games’ commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities and donate to the national nonprofit organization.

We are thrilled McDonald’s chose Louisville as one of a few cities to help celebrate the upcoming 45th anniversary of the Games, and are proud to be a city with such a strong basketball tradition,” said Ira Salls, Local McDonald’s Owner/Operator.   “McDonald’s is committed to our local communities and Sheppard Park is a perfect place to these backboards, which children and families can enjoy for years to come.”

Sheppard Park is named after Reverend William Henry Sheppard, a local minister in the early 1900s who was known for his human rights work in the Congo and other areas.  The park was acquired in 1925 and was one of the first parks in the area open to African Americans.  Soon after, the park began offering sports and programming to the surrounding neighborhood, which has continued through today. 

“Sheppard Park is a significant part of this neighborhood and has played a significant role in our city’s history,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.   “We thank McDonald’s for their continued support of this neighborhood and others across Louisville and their recognition of our area’s rich basketball history.”

The McDonald’s All American Games is rooted in basketball history, a legacy built up by thousands of girls and boys who have donned the famous jersey since 1977.    Louisville is home to a number of McDonald’s All Americans, including Rajon Rondo in 2004 and Myisha Hines-Allen in 2014.  In 2022, the Games will reach new heights and celebrate 45 years of showcasing the top high school basketball players and next generation of greats.

McDonald’s is using the local court as a canvas to celebrate its decades-long commitment to the game by installing backboards in other past host cities, including Chicago, Indianapolis and Washington, D.C.

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