WNBA star Brianna Stewart joins other athletes with donation to Jackson sports complex, The Ark

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Late last year, The Ark, a rapidly growing sports complex in South Jackson, received donations from major names – including NBA superstar Kyrie Irving.

Now, the latest star to donate is 2023 WNBA MVP Brianna Stewart.

”The Ark has been a place, like I said, beyond my imagination and dreams. We are just thankful for donations of people like, you know, Kyrie, Brianna Stewart, Angie Thomas, those who’s helped us out so much, as well,” State Representative and founder of The Ark Ronnie Crudup Jr. said.

WNBA star Brianna Stewart made the donation alongside her sponsors PUMA and Clif Bar.

The amount of Stewarts donation is undisclosed, but Crudup Jr. did share the WNBA star matched Kyrie Irving’s donation from 2023.

These efforts made by sports stars don’t go unnoticed by the kids who come to the facility.

“One more main celebrity, but especially a basketball player, because we do a lot of basketball stuff here. So it’s been great to get folks of that caliber to be able to, you know, encourage the young men, the young ladies who are even out there today, to be able to go and shoot for their dreams and kind of give them some light on the wall they can look towards,” Crudup Jr. said.

The donations allow The Ark to continue to expand with the purchase of a fifth basketball court already made, it will be installed by the end of 2024.

Other future plans include expanding the boxing and gymnastic programs.

Less than a year later since its opening, Crudup is happy to see The Ark become what he hoped it would for the next generation.

“This place is all about exposure. And so we want to expose kids to other opportunities and ideas of things that they may not think is out there, as we do our Tumblr program real soon. We’re kind of getting things wrapped up. They’re gonna start before the end of the year. We try to expose kids so those type of things that they know that there are scholarships available, and tell them that in cheerleading and so these are the things that we really want to do here. It really tried to expand the minds and the thoughts of a lot of these folks,” Crudup Jr. said.

Other long term plans for The Ark include adding a pool, so they can offer swimming lessons and possibly create a swim team in the capital city.

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