center_square_cc_fc.jpgNORTH MIAMI – The nation’s newest NBA Learn & Play Center opened Friday at the Joe Celestin Center, 1525 N.W. 135th St., North Miami, with basketball players and top officials present.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, District 2, joined North Miami Mayor-elect Lucie Tondreau and NBA Commissioner David Stern for the dedication.

Also present were Miami Heat players Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier, Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers and Rashard Lewis.

The center features a library, a computer lab and a recreation room. The NBA also remodeled the Joe Celestin Center, installing Miami Heat-themed murals and signage.

The NBA donated the center as part of the current NBA Finals, the first two games of which were played at the American-Airlines Arena in downtown Miami.

“This Learn & Play Center will expand access of state-of-the-art educational and athletic facilities to more children in District 2,” Monestime said. “On behalf of the children, families and residents of District 2, I say ‘Thank you’ to the entire Miami Heat family and the NBA for this wonderful Learn & Play Center.”