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NBA star Lu Dort back in Montreal North to unveil new-look park

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Young and old were jacking threes, driving the lane and practicing the fundementals at the new-look Park Saint-Laurent in Montreal North on Saturday as a local NBA star watched.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz "Lu" Dort was at the court where he grew up playing with his Maizon Dort foundation to unveil the refurbished courts at the park.

"I'm really just so happy for them," said the player known as the Dorture Chamber. "I hope they're going take care of this court. I hope they're going to come out here and really play and dream."

Dort was born and raised in Montreal North, and he made the inaugural layup at the re-opening of the court.

"I remember when I was coming here as a young player, you know, we didn't have the best court out here, the best rims or whatever. But, you know, we were just waiting for that one person. And I'm fortunate to be that person today," he said.

Maison Dort partnered with Canada Basketball, Buckets and Borders and the City of Montreal to make the court a reality.

"I like the hoops. I love the courts," said eight-year-old MJ Osse.

Osse was sure to wear his no. 5 Dort jersey, saying the OKC forward was his inspiration.

"I always want to be in the NBA; I hope my dream comes true," he said.

New look court in Montreal North.

The courts were created with children like Osse in mind. Local artist Olivier Lwamamwa said he focused on bright colours when designing the space because he wanted it to be a place for kids to dream, and be proud to call home.

"Yes, we're Montreal North, but we're also part of Montreal as a whole, and it's time for the people to respect us, for the people to give us a proper value and showcase to the world what we can do," said Lwambwa.

Dort is an example of this sentiment.

The 6'4" defensive specialist will represent Canada at the Olympics in Paris this summer.

"I always said Montreal North made me," he said. "You know, that's the character: the toughness. Everything I got that I get to show on the big stage now, it comes from Montreal North."

It all started on the courts he was playing at on Saturday, and now the 25-year-old hopes others will follow his lead.

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