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THE SIDELINES : Pistons Form Youth Foundation

<i> From Times wire services </i>

The Detroit Pistons have teamed up with the Palace of Auburn Hills, where they play home games, to establish a foundation to support youth programs in Detroit.

The Pistons/Palace Foundation--first of its kind involving an NBA team--hopes to organize fund-raising programs with major corporations, said Thomas S. Wilson, the team’s executive officer.

Wilson said the foundation was not formed in response to a Detroit civil-rights leader, the Rev. Jim Holley, president of the Detroit chapter of Operation PUSH, who accused the Pistons of abandoning Detroit and offering “plantation basketball” to wealthy white suburbanites.

“We felt there was no validity to those criticisms,” Wilson said Sunday. “But we recognized that we can always do more and that more money and effort can be put into the community.”

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