BBVA Compass hosted a star-studded ribbon cutting at public basketball courts near Legion Field on Oct. 1, featuring city leaders, bank representatives, former professional basketball players, and current Houston Rockets players.
The event, recognizing the renovation of two public basketball courts, also served as a preview for BBVA Compass Iron City Showdown between the Houston Rockets and the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct 2. The game marks the first time an NBA game has been played in Birmingham in more than 12 years.
Prior to the BBVA Compass Iron City Showdown, Houston Rockets players Chris Paul and Clint Capela enjoy a game of basketball with Birmingham kids at the grand opening of refurbished courts.
BBVA Compass City President Andrea Smith emceed the ribbon cutting event and highlighted the bank’s commitment to Birmingham and the surrounding communities. Mayor Randall Woodfin, Birmingham Parks and Recreation Commissioner Montal Morton, and Houston Rockets Chief Executive Officer Tad Brown took part in the ceremony as guest speakers.
Smith: We also wanted to give back to the community, and take the opportunity to draw attention to this city.
“When we brought the BBVA Compass Iron City Showdown to Birmingham, we knew we wanted it to be more than just a basketball game, as exciting as that is for us,” Smith said. “We also wanted to give back to the community, and take the opportunity to draw attention to this city. Birmingham is a city on the rise, and we’re delighted to have the chance to part of that.”
From left to right: Houston Rockets CEO Tad Brown, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and BBVA Compass Birmingham CEO Andrea Smith | Photo: Houston Rockets
Mayor Woodfin performed the honors of the ceremonial ribbon cutting at midcourt after the speaking program.
Mayor Woodfin: This is what happens when we knock down silos and build up partnerships.
“I want to thank BBVA Compass for stepping up as an area business leader and making it their mission to help enhance the park facilities that serve this community,” said Mayor Woodfin. “I also want to thank the Houston Rockets and the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board for their participation. Their teamwork, public service and unconditional love of Birmingham helped make this project – and future projects – a success for the Magic City. This is what happens when we knock down silos and build up partnerships.”
From right to left: BBVA Compass brand ambassador and former pro basketball player Robert Horry, BBVA Compass Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Dominiquini and Houston Rockets Mascot Clutch the Bear
One of Alabama basketball’s favorite sons, BBVA Compass brand ambassador Robert Horry, was on hand to take the inaugural shot on the new court, followed by a friendly game between representatives of Birmingham Police and Fire Departments on one court. On the other, children from the city’s Parks and Recreation basketball league also had a chance to play, with honorary referees and Houston Rockets players Chris Paul and Clint Capela overseeing the action.
Horry: This area is full of basketball fans, and now people will have a family-friendly place to play the sport they love.
“This court renovation is also about Birmingham’s love of basketball. We’re a big football state, but Alabama has also produced top basketball players, including Robert Horry,” Smith said. “This area is full of basketball fans, and now people will have a family-friendly place to play the sport they love.”
BBVA Compass paid for the court renovation as a way to give back to Birmingham. No taxpayer money was used to fund the project.