NBA affiliate Grand Rapids Gold’s partnership with Gentex to benefit schools

The Grand Rapids Gold, the official NBA G League affiliate of the Denver Nuggets, has announced its partnership with Gentex Corp. In addition to being an official sponsor of the team this season, Gentex also is the presenting partner of the Gold Reading Program with Zeeland, Holland, and West Ottawa public schools.

The Gold looks to start their inaugural season at Van Andel Arena on Nov. 10 against their in-state rivals, the Motor City Cruise. The 2022-23 season will be the team’s second year with its affiliate, the Denver Nuggets. They were previously affiliated with the Detroit Pistons.

Gentex is a technology leader in the automotive, aerospace and fire protection industries. Ottawa County’s largest employer manufactures 91% of the world’s auto-dimming rearview mirrors and sells them globally to every major automaker.

Second year of partnership

“Grand Rapids Gold fans have an exciting year ahead with the new venue at Van Andel Arena, and we are pleased to sponsor the team for the second year in a row,” says Seth Bushouse, Gentex senior director of human resources. “We value the opportunity to sponsor the Gold Reading Program to support literacy in the communities where our employees’ children attend school.”

As part of Gentex’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, Gentex partnered with the Grand Rapids Gold to sponsor its Elevate Reading Program. Last year, seven Zeeland Public Schools and four Holland Public Schools participated during March is Reading month. Both districts held Read-A-Thons, during which students committed to read for 20 minutes outside of school each week. In return, Gentex sponsored prizes for each completed week to encourage kids to keep reading.

Gold Mascot, Buckets, visited Roosevelt Elementary to hand out books to students. (Gentex)

“The prizes included color-changing mood pencils, which the students really loved,” says Joe Matthews, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at Gentex. “This was a great partnership with the Grand Rapids Gold. We are always looking for ways to support the schools in the communities where our employees’ children attend.”

Students were also entered in a drawing for a family pass to a Gold game. In March, the Gold Mascot, Buckets, visited Roosevelt Elementary to hand out books to students. Daniel Quintanilla, director of talent acquisition. attended the event as well to see the students’ reactions firsthand.

This year, West Ottawa Public Schools will join the program.

Hopes for further partnerships

“We greatly appreciate Gentex’s continued support of the Gold and their emphasis to make an impact in both Grand Rapids and the Lakeshore area, “ Gold Vice President of Sales Kyle Kwaske says. “Through the Gold Reading Program and multiple other activations this season at Van Andel Arena, we believe that this is just the beginning of a long-term partnership with Gentex.”

The NBA’s official minor league, the NBA G League prepares players, coaches, officials, training and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory.

Featuring 30 teams, 28 with direct affiliations to NBA franchises for 2022-23, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. A record 47% of all players on 2022-23 NBA opening night rosters boasted NBA G League experience. To foster its connection to the community, the league’s teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA Cares programs.

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.