EAST PALO ALTO, CA — Star NFL receiver Davante Adams returned to his hometown of East Palo Alto on Monday to unveil new outdoor fitness equipment at Jack Farrell Park for the community to use.
Adams, in partnership with sports nutrition company Optimum Nutrition’s Building Better Lives program, helped donate the equipment, which includes a variety of cardio and strength training equipment such as suspension trainers, magnetic bells, sport bikes, cross trainers and pull-up stations.
The 29-year-old Adams starred at Palo Alto High School before going to Fresno State for college. After eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Adams was recently traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in a blockbuster deal, reportedly signing a five-year contract worth over $141 million to become the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history.
Note: This interview was condensed and edited for clarity.
Patch: What’s the importance of having this new fitness equipment in East Palo Alto?
Adams: It’s just an awesome opportunity to give everybody in the community a chance to make themselves better and work out. It’s something that I’ve been preaching for years around here that I wanted to do. So to be able to team up with Optimum Nutrition and the Building Better Lives program, they target the underserved communities — and no better community than East Palo Alto to come back and give back to.
I’ve received a lot of support and love from where I’m from. So to be able to come back and just give a little bit of it back, it means a lot to me and I’m sure it means a lot to them as well.
Patch: What kind of equipment is going to be out there?
Adams: A little bit of ellipticals, got kettlebells, got a station to do pull-ups, some other bars, a little slide, decline station. It’s a lot of different things here. A lot of good stuff. Got some TRX stuff as well. A lot of different equipment to be able to take advantage of.
Patch: Did you have access to this kind of equipment growing up?
Adams: No, I didn’t. There were different places, but it wasn’t as easily accessible — and obviously you had to pay for stuff like that. Being from East Palo Alto, most people don’t have the money that you need for a gym membership, especially the youth. So to be able to have it here at the park, it makes it a lot easier. They can just pull up and do their thing.
Patch: What does that do for a young person who can just go to the park and work out with this equipment?
Adams: It’s just going to invite them to take advantage of their fitness opportunities a little bit easier. It’s just sitting here in the park. Just like they would come to the park and go and play. Now they can come and utilize the equipment. They can kind of do whatever they want. There’s an app that goes along that lets people know how to use it. So in essence, you kind of got a trainer to talk you through the ways to use all this stuff. So, it’s a pretty good deal.
Patch: What’s it been like working with the city of East Palo Alto and some of your other partners here to put together these events and come up with ways to help the community?
Adams: It’s been great. It’s been a great opportunity for me. They’ve been super accommodating and helped out with everything. It made everything really seamless. It makes it a lot easier working with the city, when the mayor and everybody involved that calls the shots out here is so on board.
Patch: You’re going to be on a new team this year. I imagine it’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but how are you feeling about leaving Green Bay and playing for the Raiders in Las Vegas? I read that you grew up an Oakland Raiders fan.
Adams: It’s exciting, man. It’s an exciting opportunity. Obviously, I gave my life to Green Bay for eight years. I really loved that time and cherish that time I spent building those relationships and getting to know the people and the community out there. But I got a new opportunity now to play for the team that I grew up loving and grew up a fan of. So, to be able to go back and play with my college quarterback (Derek Carr), it’s a little bit of a storybook ending.
Patch: Is it going to be easier for your family and friends to watch you play?
Adams: Absolutely, absolutely. It’s much easier to get into Vegas, and people can either drive or fly up there. It’s a quick trip for them. It makes it a lot easier for them to come and support in-person on Sundays.
Patch: Are you going to miss doing the Lambeau Leaps?
Adams: Yeah, yep. No doubt.
Visit onbuildingbetterlives.com for more information.