CJ McCollum Dream Center opens at Blazers Boys & Girls Club

New learning space at Blazers Boys & Girls club is first in a series that will serve the Oregon community

CJ McCollum Dream Room Unveiling

Portland Trail Blazer and 2016 NBA Most Improved Player CJ McCollum and Boys & Girls Club of Portland Metro (BGCP) celebrated the opening of the CJ McCollum Dream Center, an innovative learning room outfitted with new computers, books, art and learning tools, at the Blazers Boys & Girls Club today. A new partnership between McCollum and BGCP will see CJ McCollum Dream Centers built at select locations in the Oregon community, aiming to provide a safe and inspiring space for underserved youth to learn, explore, create and grow.

“It is so important to encourage kids to explore their passions and educate themselves about what they love, and I hope this Dream Center serves as a constructive place for them to grow,” said McCollum.

“Portland has made a long-term commitment to me, and I am excited to now do the same with the communities that have been so supportive of me on my way to achieving my dream of playing in the NBA.”

McCollum met with youth at the Blazers Club in northeast Portland’s King neighborhood this summer to hear what their dreams were and what kind of space would help them lay the groundwork for pursuing those dreams. Today, their vision was brought to life thanks to McCollum’s support. Other organizations joining McCollum in support of this project included MODA Health, Director’s Mortgage and Buffalo Wild Wings. JBL/Harman donated headphones to the Dream Center; the Mohawk Group supplied carpet free of charge; and HL Stern covered all of the lighting. Ankrom Moisan volunteered time to create the design for the space, and D.A. Bentley Construction, LLC, donated construction services to the project as well. Buffalo Wild Wings also provided the catering for the Center’s unveiling.

“I can think of no greater inspiration for these young people than to sit at the table with one of their heroes and see firsthand how committed he is to their success,” said Erin Hubert, BGCP CEO and President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oregon Alliance. “What CJ is doing is extraordinary. Not only is he making a commitment to bring these rooms to life, he is making a genuine, personal investment in the futures of these kids. To bring it back to sports – it’s verifiably game-changing.”

“Moda is delighted to partner with CJ to bring his exciting vision to fruition,” says Dr. William Johnson, President of the Portland-based health company. “All children need a place where they can explore, create and dive headfirst into new worlds, new hopes and yes, new dreams. In essence the Dream Center is a place where kids can begin working on building resiliency.”

McCollum is now in his fourth season with the Blazers after being drafted tenth in 2013 NBA Draft. He graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in Journalism, which he puts into practice in his spare time hosting radio shows, appearing in guest roles on ESPN and writing for various publications.  McCollum shares his own personal passion for journalism with students through his CJ’s Press Pass program, which gives them inside access of a sports media member.