An assist from 'Milli'
Former star athlete returns home to spark new softball field effort
|NBA star Corey Maggette and his wife Milli (Martinez) Maggette acknowledge the appreciation of the large crowd assembled at the high school on Monday morning as they announce they are donating the needed money to complete a new girls softball field. photo by Tom Wearing.|
August 22, 2007IMLAY CITY —Whether it was throwing out a runner from the shortstop position or passing off to a teammate on the basketball court, Milagro "Milli" Martinez has always been ready to offer an assist.
So when she heard that her alma mater, Imlay City High School, needed some financial help to complete its new softball field, she was again there to offer a hand.
Joined at the school Monday morning by her husband, NBA star Corey Maggette and her 11-month-old son, Sergio, Milli announced that the couple is donating the money needed to complete construction of the new state-of-the-art softball field. The field is to be named Milagro Field, in honor of the 1998 graduate.
The couple was introduced by schools Supt. Gary Richards, who acknowledged the couple's generosity and support for the school. He pointed out that Milagro means "miracle" in Spanish.
"This is a very generous donation," said Richards. "It is our hope that Milagro Field will serve as an inspiration to other girls, and that it will serve our school and community for many years to come."
|The Maggettes are joined by Milli’s family members beneath a Milagro Field sign. Once completed, the new softball field will be named in honor of the former Imlay City High School athlete. photo by Tom Wearing.|
Taking the podium to a loud round of applause, Milli expressed thanks to the school and the community for providing her with the tools for success.
"I'm very blessed to be able to do this," she said. "This is part of my mission from God. I really appreciate this school," she said. "I'm proud to be here and to have graduated from Imlay City. Maybe, some day someone else will be able to stand up here and do the same thing."
Today, the couple resides in Playa Vista, California, a short distance from Los Angeles, where Corey plays with the L.A. Clippers.
Milli also continues to star on the court as a member of the Leons De Ponce, Puerto Rico's championship women's basketball team. She has also performed on Puerto Rico's National team.
When Milli played softball at Imlay City High School, she ruled the diamond as the team's shortstop, helping her teammates to a 33-1 record and a National ranking during her senior year.
In basketball, she was a three-time high school all-star, averaging 26 points per game during her final season.
Her skills on the court paved the way for a career as a college hoopster at Georgia Tech, where she earned Atlantic Coast Conference All-Defensive Team honors in 2001 and 2002.
More recently, Milli has also found happiness off the court, marrying Maggette in 2006 after a long courtship. Now enjoying their mutual professional and financial successes, the couple makes a practice of supporting good causes.
While Milli's generosity is evident, Corey works in L.A. with children as a member of the Clippers' Reading All-Star Team and gives charitable donations to hospitals. He also hosts yearly basketball clinics and has earned the NBA's Player's Best Camp award. In 2006, he established the "Corey Cares Foundation" to inspire and serve as a mentor for less fortunate children.
Corey, who attended Duke University before being drafted 13th overall in the 1999 NBA draft, also spoke to the crowd assembled Monday at the high school
"It's good that Milli is able to do this," said Corey. "We're very happy to be here, to be with Milli's family and the people at this school."
While motherhood is still relatively new for Milli, she finds the role satisfying.
|Corey, Milli and Sergio Maggette are all smiles before ceremony announcing the couple’s generous donation to complete the school district’s new softball field on Blacks Corners Road. photo by Tom Wearing.|
"I love having a child," she said. "He's (Sergio) my little best friend. It can be a bit of a challenge, but it's very rewarding."
Richards said the new softball field on Blacks Corners Road will feature a two-story press box and concession stand, two cement block dugouts, benches and bat rack, tile infield, a new scoreboard, customized backstop, fencing and padding, a batting cage, two sets of bleachers and roofing.
He added that the donation from the Maggettes will provide for complete installation and a full irrigation system.