OKLAHOMA CITY - Thunder General Manager Sam Presti and his wife, Shannon, have donated $140,000 to launch a program that aims to foster positive relations with youth and law enforcement.

The Prestis have worked with the Oklahoma City Police Athletic League and PeacePlayers International to create a two-year program that will offer mentoring, leadership training, coaching and active participation to youth in underserved schools in Oklahoma City. Presti has a long-standing relationship with PeacePlayers International and his continued commitment to local youth inspired him to introduce them to OKC PAL.

“The OKC PAL program has built a tremendous foundation for athletic and mentoring programs for Oklahoma City youth,” said Peter Evans, Executive Director of OKC PAL. “Thanks to Sam’s vision and leadership, this donation and partnership absolutely represents the next evolution of our program. This will not only raise our standard for programs and training, but it will drastically reinforce to our kids and to our schools that our community stands behind them and believes in them. This is going to be a game changer for the entire Oklahoma City Community.”

The new program is in the line with the mission of Presti’s Forward Thinking Youth Leadership initiative in Oklahoma City Public Schools and inspired him to initially engage PeacePlayers International to work with him locally in Oklahoma City. OKC PAL was eager to partner with PeacePlayers International and the more than 15 years of award-winning, international experience they offer in uniting people through sports.

“We have been joining communities in need throughout the world through basketball for over 15 years,” said Brendan Tuohey, Co-Founder and Executive Director of PeacePlayers International. “We are excited to use our experiences to help Oklahoma City PAL strengthen and expand its powerful work using sport to unite and inspire.”