PUBLISHED June 5, 2018 | News
It is not difficult to find the name Tony Dorsett etched throughout Beaver County.
From the big letters overtop Hopewell football stadium to the decorative cups that he is featured on at the New Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe, there is no question that Beaver County takes great pride in the Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Hall of Famer.
However, it is a group of people from far outside of western Pennsylvania who are responsible for the latest dedication to the gridiron great.
On Monday a crowd of over 100 people gathered outside of Margret Ross Elementary School to celebrate the opening of a brand new basketball court that will be named after Dorsett. The court was donated through the partnership of the Nancy Lieberman Charities and the Covenant Church in Dallas, Texas.
The “Kids and Cops Dream Court” was built in hopes of creating a better relationship between the Hopewell Township officers and the community in which they serve.
“Tony’s name is forever etched in this community, and this community obviously has remained important to him,” said Hopewell Township Police Chief Brian Uhrmacher. “Support from Tony and the Covenant Church in Texas have taken this court from dream to reality.”
The Dream Court is the 58th to be built through Nancy Lieberman Charities and is the first of to be located in Pennsylvania. Lieberman, who is in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for her successful career as both a player and coach in college and multiple professional leagues, is also a close friend of the entire Dorsett family for over three decades.
After growing closer over time though church and charity work, Lieberman wanted to use her charity to help make a difference in the home town of her long-time friend. For Lieberman, something as simple as an athletic court dedicated to building a strong relationship between children and police officers can lead to progress within the community.
“This is what we need to do,” Lieberman said. “We need to mix and mingle and to let everybody know that though we all have differences we are all humans that are proud to be a part of a community and work together to get better.”
Dorsett joins others such as Derek Jeter, Larry Bird and Billy Crystal to have a Dream Court built by Nancy Lieberman Charities in their names. Lieberman says that like many others, Dorsett was unsure of the idea when it was originally presented to him. However, after the final product was presented he, like everyone else, was impressed.
“When we get to the ribbon-cutting they all say how amazing everything is,” Lieberman said. “It is cool to see people like Tony or Derek (Jeter) or Larry (Bird) or anyone else so happy; it actually makes me happy.”
To simply label Dorsett as just “happy” during the ceremony on Monday would be an understatement. The Hopewell alum was beaming with joy as he took pictures with fans, shot baskets with current students and caught up with old friends, including former NFL linebacker Dan Rains. For Dorsett, the entire day was filled with special moments.
“Any time that you get a chance to come back and give back to the community is awesome; especially when it is something that is a contribution to our youth who are tomorrow’s leaders,” Dorsett said.
Dorsett then turned around and pointed to the court where kids of different shapes, sizes, ages and races where playing basketball together and said, “To see this out here is pretty awesome, man.”