, Muskogee, OK

July 25, 2013

Architects to listen to MLK ideas

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— As Night Hoops wrap up for the summer at the Martin Luther King Center, participants will have the chance to share their ideas for a new facility.

Saturday’s special event, a focus session hosted by Ambler Architects, is the first opportunity for the community to have input into the final design of a new Martin Luther King Center, said Derrick Reed, program director.

“Ambler Architects from Bartlesville will come in to get feedback from parents and kids from Night Hoops on what they want to see at the new Martin Luther King Center,” Reed said. “And they’ll ask the kids to draw some of their ideas, too. Then they will take those ideas and come back to us with a design.”

Reed said it’s just the beginning of a series of focus sessions with different community groups the architects will hold before presenting the city with a design.

The grand finale of Night Hoops begins tonight. Throughout June and July, Night Hoops has brought more than 300 kids each night on weekends. Derrick Reed said he hopes just as many come tonight and Saturday night.

The festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. today with the beginning of the three-on-three basketball tournament. The tournament continues Saturday after the 5 p.m. focus session with architects, he said.

“On Saturday, we’ll have free food for the first 400 people. We’ll have the Jupiter Jump for the kids, a live DJ and other activities for the kids, as well,” Reed said.

Reed said Night Hoops saw a tremendous turnout this summer.

“This is giving them something positive to do on the weekends. And it gives them a safe environment too,” he said. “The Muskogee Police Department provides security, and we had a staff of 19 to manage Night Hoops this year.”

Reed said Night Hoops is not only basketball, but there are always other activities going on each night.

“We also have soccer, volleyball. We’ve done a whole lot of sporting events,” he said. “Indoors, we have games and arts and crafts and a full concession stand. One night we had relay races with the kids.”

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or

If you go

WHAT: Night Hoops Grand Finale.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today, 5 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Martin Luther King Center, 627 N. Third St.

ETC.: Free to attend. Food served Saturday to the first 400 attendees. Three-on-three tournament begins at 7:30 p.m. today and continues after the 5 p.m. Saturday focus session with Ambler Architects regarding the new building. Saturday features a Jupiter Jump, disc jockey and other activities, as well.

INFORMATION: (918) 684-6314.