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  • In a lot of neighborhoods, the public park is the center of the community and the basketball court is the center of that public park.

  • Oftentimes, these courts, they're in rough shape.

  • There's courts where either there's no lines or where there's large gaps and cracks in the court's surface.

  • There can be huge dips that would be unsafe, hazardous to play on.

  • So seeing all these courts across the city inspired me to renovate public outdoor basketball courts and collaborate with artists to create unique works of art for the surface.

  • I pretty much played at this court my whole life.

  • It was a no-brainer for me.

  • Like, I jumped at the opportunity to be able to come down and help paint and give back to the community.

  • Lincoln Park is a special court for me because I actually used to play here when I was in school.

  • All my siblings grew up playing on this court, and so this court's been a long time coming.

  • The actual process of renovating the court typically takes about two weeks,

  • and usually they'll hire a local contracting crew to do any crack fill or patch repair.

  • And then after they've done that, we come in once the court has been resurfaced to get the artwork down and be ready for lines.

  • Since starting Project Backboard three and a half years ago, we worked on over two dozen courts around the world.

  • One of the most fun parts is working with community volunteers on the court painting.

  • You're gonna start at the tape line and we're gonna work our way backwards.

  • You know, the basketball court, for me, was always a place where you learned to be an engaged citizen.

  • It's where you met your neighbors and kind of got together for a common purpose.

  • And I think, too often, people think of basketball courts as a nuisance, when really it is a spot that can really bring people and communities together.

  • Before this, it was cracks all over the court, graffiti everywhere, definitely in bad shape.

  • Giving back to the community kind of speaks to me because this is my first time kind of being involved in a project like this,

  • and it definitely inspires other kids due to the fact that, you know, the younger generation always looks up to the older generation.

  • They see you giving back, it will inspire them to give back.

  • Being able to step on a new renovated court is pretty dope.

  • You know, it seems small, just a basketball court, but, you know, it's a lot more than that.

  • Everyone comes out.

  • People get off work.

  • Got people who don't even live in New Rochelle who come over here to watch the games, so definitely just the little things helps out a lot.

  • This didn't start as an art project.

  • It didn't start as a way to bring art into parks.

  • But I think I recognize that it's really important for me to inspire and help others do this in their own communities.

  • You know, I want people to feel like I can make a difference in my community.

  • Maybe I'm not painting an entire basketball court.

  • Maybe I'm just buying new nets and hanging them when they fall down.

  • Maybe I'm just picking up the trash.

  • You know, whatever it is, it's, if you care about your park, you care about your basketball court, take care of it.

In a lot of neighborhoods, the public park is the center of the community and the basketball court is the center of that public park.

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Turning Basketball Courts Into Works of Art

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/02/19
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