Thursday, April 23, 2009

District 150 - please bring back inner city basketball rims

Yesterday evening the weather was perfect for being on the courts shooting hoops.
Photo taken at Keller School on North Knoxville Avenue.

South of War Memorial Drive, District 150 has removed all basketball rims. The rims were removed several years ago. As a result, children who are not fortunate enough to be members of the RiverPlex or some other facility, are left to their own means to find a basketball rim.

Recently, four young men climbed over my gated and locked back yard fence and had themselves a little game . It was actually kind of funny because I recognized them from the school where I volunteer. I didn’t get mad, but I gave them a good talk about what trespassing is and pointed them to the sign posted on my fence. However, I did assure them that if they did it again, I would call the police. I have since seen the youngsters at school and they are all very nice and make a point to say hello, no problems.

I am not sure why the basketball rims were taken down from inner city schools, but District 150 should really consider replacing them.


Anonymous said...

Emerge - I agree wholeheartedly! I asked this very question when first elected. I have fond memories of biking to old Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, Proctor Center, other places - for good pick-up games. I was told it was a liability cost. I will ask again to clarify. The lack of public hoops is what caused some creative thinkers who set up street courts a possible citation. unfortunately, I think it has been the case of a few ruining it for the many.

jim stowell said...

- jim stowell posted above

jim stowell said...

Emerge - Due to complaints, litter, fighting, late night hoops in front of car lights, etc., the rims were taken down. In asking for some to be re-established, Dave Ryon had a better suggestion - maybe having open gyms in the summer. Custodians are there. We need productive activities for a lot of our youth throughout the year. I will keep working on this.

Themis said...

A liability cost south of War Memorial Drive but not north of War Memorial Drive? Ok....?

I grew up attending GOGS and we played basketball nightly. The girls played with the guys, which made us push ourselves harder as the guys made us compete on their level. (It even gave me what was needed internally to participate in Joe Stowell Basketball Clinic at BU.) It also kept most of us out of trouble as it gave us something to do. I can't imagine being a kid these days and not having access to the playground basketball courts. For a change of pace, we would also play kickball, softball and corkball. NO ONE was fat, out of shape, or bored.

EMERGE said...

I used to play playground ball at several inner city schools growing up. Yeah, the boys would school us to make us play harder ("not like girls"). We would hustle up and down the court for hours. Good times.

Thanks Jim for looking into this. What ever happened to intermural sports. I bet many adults would welcome a chance to volunteer to coach after school volleyball, basketball or soccer.

Participating in intermurals could tye into an after school homework/tutoring program (staffed by volunteers). When the teachers go home a group of trained volunteers could provide activities for children.