Curtis Granderson Holds All-Star Youth Event at UIC

Granderson goes through warm-up drills with the campers.
Granderson goes through warm-up drills with the campers.

July 16, 2014

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CHICAGO – While most Major League Baseball players used the All-Star break to relax, UIC Hall-of-Famer and current New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson took advantage of the free time to host his Grand Kids Foundation All-Star Camp on Wednesday afternoon.  More than 100 little leaguers participated in the event which was housed at the newly constructed Curtis Granderson Stadium on the campus of UIC.

“I’d like to thank everyone at UIC for supporting Grand Kids,” Granderson said.  “UIC has played an integral role in shaping who I am as an athlete and as a person, so I'm confident that this new facility will have a tremendous impact on our community.  I've learned many important lessons growing up in Chicago, both in the classroom and on the baseball field, so it's a privilege to now help provide those same opportunities to inner city youth.”

Granderson, along with current UIC baseball players and youth league coaches, spent the day teaching techniques and fundamentals to the enthusiastic campers.  New Orleans Saints running back and Granderson friend Pierre Thomas was also on-hand to help provide instruction.  The Chicago Food Depository and Aquafina partnered with Grand Kids to feed and hydrate the little leaguers. 

After the on-the-field activities, Granderson held a meet-and-greet session where he answered questions and signed autographs for each individual camper.  He also handed out Grand Kids All-Star medals to each participant.

Once camp had concluded, Granderson took batting practice for the first time in the new UIC stadium.  His donation of $5 million to help fund the project is the largest one-time gift by a professional athlete to their alma mater in history, according to Sports Illustrated.    

About the Grand Kids Foundation: Major League Baseball All-Star outfielder, Curtis Granderson founded the Grand Kids Foundation to aid positive youth development via education, physical fitness and nutrition - providing tools and resources for educational and societal advancement.