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Phoenix Suns brighten up Guadalupe with a new playground

Over 200 volunteers, including Phoenix Suns players and coaches, helped build a new playground in the Guadalupe Barrio Nuevo community in Phoenix Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. (Photo by Sharon Mittelman/KTAR News)

PHOENIX — Youngsters in Guadalupe have a new place to play today, thanks to the Phoenix Suns Charities.

More than 200 volunteers picked up hammers, shovels and drills, creating a neighborhood playground in the Guadalupe Barrio Nuevo community.

The 2,500-foot playground features a 9-foot slide, a super-sized jungle gym, and a large see-saw. It also has shade structures, picnic tables and tree benches.

Phoenix Suns players and coaches rolled up their sleeves to help finish up the day-long project.

“I have kids, so I know the importance of having a safe place for them to be able to play,” Suns’ player P.J. Tucker said. “When we came out to show the proposal, so many kids came, so excited about drawing up designs of how they wanted the playground to look. It’s pretty awesome.”

Suns’ owner Robert Sarver said the goal is to give back to the community.

“This is a way to put our brand on something,” Sarver said. “It gives the kids a place to get away and play and do it in a safe, nice way, and hopefully make a difference in some of these kids’ lives.”

Phoenix Suns Charities and Suns’ employees raised more than $100,000 to build the playground.

Phoenix Suns' Eric Bledsoe does his part in helping build a playground in the Guadalupe Barrio Nuevo community Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. (Photo by Sharon Mittelman/KTAR News)

Phoenix Suns’ Eric Bledsoe does his part in helping build a playground in the Guadalupe Barrio Nuevo community Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. (Photo by Sharon Mittelman/KTAR News)

Suns head coach Earl Watson is one of those who donated to the project.

“It’s great for the neighborhood and building a true family community that bonds with our program and the Phoenix Suns,” Watson said.

Watson and Tucker each made significant financial contributions to the playground construction. The playground was designed by Kaboom, a non-profit that promotes a child’s right to active play at home, at school and in the community.

Volunteers from Chicanos Por La Causa were part of the volunteer team. With those 200 sets of hands, the playground was built in just one day.

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