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NBA renovates STEM lab, gym at elementary school in South Salt Lake

Feb 16, 2023, 5:29 PM | Updated: Feb 17, 2023, 5:25 am

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Over the next few days, the NBA will put on an amazing show in Salt Lake City.

The league is also making lasting investments in some of Utah’s youth as Lincoln Elementary School in South Salt Lake received some NBA upgrades for education and play.

When Principal Milton Collins first heard what the NBA had planned for his school, he couldn’t believe it.  “At first, I thought they were making a mistake. Lincoln? Little Lincoln Elementary School? In the Granite School District. Are you sure?“ he said.

Jason Collins, retired NBA player and current NBA Cares ambassador, said the All-Star Game is more than just a game.

“It’s about giving back so that when the game, the All-Star Game goes away, we leave something behind for the entire Utah community,” Collins said.

Students gathered in the Lincoln Elementary gym Thursday morning as Utah Jazz players, past and present, joined NBA leaders to dedicate a new NBA Cares Learn and Play Center.  

“I’m excited for the new stem lab and our new gym so we can do a lot of fun things,” said Sayed Miri, a fifth grader at the school.

NBA Cares unveiled a newly renovated STEM education lab with new technology to stretch the limits of learning.  The gymnasium also got a facelift, including new basketball hoops, better lighting and an updated floor.

Utah Jazz Guard Collin Sexton urged the students to believe in themselves and pursue their greatest dreams. (KSL TV) A renovated STEM education lab with new technology to stretch the limits of learning was part of the NBA’s investment in the Utah community. (KSL TV) A renovated STEM education lab with new technology to stretch the limits of learning was part of the NBA’s investment in the Utah community. (KSL TV)

Sayed addressed the crowd and talked about his school and his experience.  He was born in Afghanistan and fled with his family three years ago.  He said the upgrades make the students feel special. “It means a lot to me,” he said. “It’s really cool and it’s good. I’m happy to have it.”

There is a lot of diversity in the student body at Lincoln Elementary. Twenty-three different languages are spoken there.

The principal said that this investment will go a long way for the students.  “For any new student coming in, to walk into this gym, and to walk into the Stem lab, you’re going to feel like you’re in outer space somewhere because of the upgrades. It’s just so amazing,” Collins said. 

Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton urged the students to believe in themselves and pursue their greatest dreams. “I remember being that kid with dreams and aspirations, and how people along the line told me I wouldn’t be able to amount to those dreams. Just being able to be here today and showing that if I did it, I know you can do it,” he said. “They are going to see that we were here, and they’re going to be able to have fun here,” Collins said. “They’re going to be able to have dances and competitions on this beautiful new floor and compete with that new technology in the stem lab.”

Each time students at Lincoln Elementary use the new facilities, they can remember this day and that encouragement. 

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NBA renovates STEM lab, gym at elementary school in South Salt Lake