Canada First Basketball reaches $1 million in funding for world’s oldest basketball court

Canada First Basketball photo The world’s first basketball court in the building at 8 King St., which the Canada First Basketball group will purchase, along with a neighbouring building, with some of the $1 million raised from phase 1 of its fundraising plan. The group will now shift into phase 2, which aims to raise $9 million to create the planned “shrine to basketball” in St. Stephen.

From the Tuesday, Jan. 18 edition of The Saint Croix Courier

ST. STEPHEN – Canada First Basketball Inc. (C1BI), the group overseeing the preservation and restoration of the world’s oldest basketball court which can be found in St. Stephen, has reached its first fundraising milestone, hitting the $1 million mark.

“It’s refreshing that with this small group of St. Stephen volunteers, we have a documented planned strategy for the building moving forward, even if it will take a little time. My wish is that all communities take pride in preserving and showcasing the history they have left,” said Carol Kelly, C1BI fundraising action team chair in a statement sent to the Courier.

The $1 million in funding has come from various sources, many of them larger corporate donors, but Kelly credits the many local supporters of the initiative for the success in meeting this phase 1 goal.

“It’s hard to describe my feelings of first seeing the historic basketball court,” committee member David Hyslop told the Courier.

“”My thoughts then turned to ‘how can we share this with everyone’?

“Reaching the $1 million mark in fundraising is a testament to the hard working individuals, the community, and all the past and present board members,” Hyslop added.

The phase 1 funds will now be used in part to purchase the two buildings of import on King St. in St. Stephen. The one which houses the court itself along with a neighbouring building, and will fund further engineering to ensure the restoration of the court can begin.

Phase 2 of the fundraising plan jumps to an ambitious $9 million need to further establish the planned museum and “shrine to the game of basketball”.

“Sharing the oldest basketball court in the world has taken a significant step towards being accomplished,” said Hyslop.