Baltimore City

Unselds’ School in West Baltimore unveils renovations: ‘It is about the kids’

The Unselds’ School in West Baltimore has received an upgrade thanks to a project that honors late legendary basketball player Wes Unseld.

Officials from the Washington Wizards and Heart of America held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday to unveil renovations at the school. It was part of a legacy campaign to celebrate the NBA’s 75th anniversary.


The renovations were welcomed because the building has declined through the years, said Unseld’s son, Wes Unseld Jr., head coach of the Wizards and the first graduate of the school.

“To help beautify the space, it’s impactful,” he said. “For the kids, it helps bring new life and energy to the building.”


Wes Unseld, who died June 2, 2020, opened the school with his wife, Connie, in 1978. Located at 250 S. Hilton St. in the Saint Josephs neighborhood, the school is one of the few fully accredited, non-church-affiliated, Black-owned schools in Maryland.

Renovations include a refreshed basketball court, a learning garden and outdoor bench tables. The parent lounge area and school signage were also updated, and an area was added to honor Wes Unseld’s legacy.

A large poster of a young Wes in his Baltimore Bullets jersey hangs on the wall. Two cabinets containing memorabilia, including one of his shoes and numerous framed photos, help students learn and remember who he was.

Connie Unseld said the legacy room “really makes me happy” because “the children who come after will not know about him, unless we have something permanent.”

Wes Unseld had been sick for about two years before he died, Connie Unseld said. She then shifted her concentration to the school, which has been reduced to 20 students because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“It was such a welcomed relief for me to hear them say, ‘We’d like to come in and refresh the building,’” she said.

The Unselds' School, which was founded by Wes and Connie Unseld, is at 250 S. Hilton St. in West Baltimore.  April 13, 2022

The NBA Foundation, at the recommendation of the Wizards, granted $25,000 to Heart of America for the renovations, a spokesperson at Monumental Sports & Entertainment said. Monumental and the Wizards assisted with additional resources, she said.

Team owner Ted Leonsis said the franchise wanted to honor Unseld, the Hall of Famer who served as the organization’s vice president, head coach and general manager after his playing career ended in 1981.


“It’s not about the Unseld name, it is about the kids,” Leonsis told the crowd Wednesday. “It is about implanting the legacy of what this family has believed in. We talk about equity in education and equity in opportunity and that is what this school is all about.”

For much of the day, volunteers put the finishing touches inside and outside the school. Students in attendance took part in a basketball clinic led by the Wizards and ate pizza.

Daughter Kim Unseld, principal and teacher of the Unselds’ School, said this project brought some life back to the school and reminds the community that the school exists.

“It’s nice to be able to open up to the community and say, ‘Hey, here we are. We’re still here. We’re still going tough. We’re still doing the right thing,” she said. “The only drawback is I wish Daddy was here to see it.”