Jason Heyward took Marquee Sports Network on a tour of the Intentional Sports Campus that will soon house the Jason Heyward Baseball Academy in the North Austin neighborhood of Chicago.
Heyward has been working with Intentional Sports — a nonprofit organization — to create the space that will be part of a 10-acre facility for sports, education and wellness.
Heyward had not seen the land since the groundbreaking took place last August and walked through the area with Marquee Sports Network’s Elise Menaker during the Cubs’ off-day Monday.
“This is awesome to come out here for the first time and see the progress in person,” Heyward said. “They’ve been out here working hard since the spring and I can’t believe how much they’ve got done and I’m very excited to see what they’re gonna do the rest of the way … I can’t wait to have our dreams and ideas come to life.”
The Intentional Sports Campus includes a turf room, indoor basketball court, weight room, multi-purpose room and more.
Heyward emphasized the importance of including the whole community in this facility, saying that the multi-purpose room would be a space that kids not interested in sports could enjoy.
Seeing the size of the facility made the Cubs outfielder excited for what the campus will mean to kids in the neighborhood.
“I’m just thinking about like the days where kids will come in here to compete, have fun, grind, put differences aside and really feel like that they have somewhere to go in their community that is state of the art and take so much pride in it,” Heyward said.
Heyward has so much passion for this project because of his own upbringing.
“I feel like I’m always gonna have moments where I find myself getting emotional with it ’cause I knew how important it was at 8 years old to have a facility we called home to practice in,” Heyward said.
“Just to be a small part of what’s gonna make this place go is super humbling and very thankful for everyone that allowed me to take the time and input my time into it for the Jason Heyward Baseball Academy but Intentional Sports as a whole, By the Hand Club [For Kids], Grace and Peace [Revive Center],” Heyward said. “A beautiful example of a community coming together and making something special happen.”
Soft-opening events, like camps, are scheduled to take place in November and December, with after-school programs starting in January 2023.
The project is still accepting donations, which can be made here.
For the full tour with Heyward above check out the video above and for additional information on the facility watch the interview with Andy McDermott, Founder and President of Intentional Sports:
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