Trae Young is focused on giving kids the same opportunities that were afforded to him during his youth, and on Friday he took a big step in that direction at the Atlanta Youth Academy.

The Atlanta Hawks star was on hand to help AYA unveil a newly refurbished Teem Gymnasium, funded by the Trae Young Family Foundation, featuring a brand new court, new scoreboards and padding, additional backboards and a new sound system. Additionally, TYFF provided each student with a new backpack and t-shirt and Trae gave a speech to the students about working hard to achieve their goals.

“I always got to make sure I’m giving back and doing what God did for me growing up as a kid – giving me advice and giving me places to go,” Trae said. “To have an after-school program that I can have fun, have a gym to shoot at … I think it’s important for me to do that for these kids coming up, because I remember having those guys for me.”

Atlanta Youth Academy was founded in 1997 to serve the needs of Atlanta’s youth. Thanks to generous donations from the community, AYA is able to offer an education to more than 150 students from kindergarten to 8th grade with over 90 percent of that education covered by donors. This allows AYA to keep class sizes to an average of 16 students per classroom and keep 80 percent of students in the building for after school programs that run until 6 p.m. daily. The renovations in the gymnasium will go a long way to keep those students engaged and helping them chase their dreams.

“I truly want to make a difference here in the Atlanta community,” Trae said. “The Trae Young Family Foundation’s commitment to mental health resources and education perfectly aligns with the AYA’s gym refurbishment initiative. It provides a first-class haven for children to flourish physically, emotionally, and spiritually through sports and exercise.”

This is Trae Young Family Foundation’s second big outreach initiative with the Atlanta Youth Academy. Earlier this year, Trae and TYFF made a donation that covered meals for all students at AYA.

“AYA is grateful for Trae’s involvement and the influence he will have on AYA’s students,” Atlanta Youth Academy President Peter Rooney said. “The refurbished gym will provide thousands of recreational hours to AYA’s students from physical education classes to basketball practices and games to after-school activities. It will also encourage the completion of the new baseball field and other gym renovations.”