I can tell you that there were only four basketball courts in Dayton that were worth playing on that belonged to the city last year- at the new rec center on the old Roosevelt site, 2 at Riverview and one at Jane Newcome.
Dayton Public supplied a few more to the inventory- with Dunbar and Rosa Parks having courts that were nice (although Dunbar’s needs to be swept often since it is on a flood plain- and often covered with gravel).
As part of my campaign for City Commission last year I hung more than 300 basketball nets on our lame courts and rims. Here was the video about it:
But, now, since I shamed them in the video and with my campaign last year, the city is finally going to start putting our tax dollars where they belong- into our parks.
In total, about 23 basketball courts and 15 tennis courts will be resurfaced and improved. About 13 tennis and two basketball courts will be eliminated.
“In some cases, people aren’t using these because the courts are unusable,” said Aaron Sorrell, director of the city’s department of planning and community development. “Where we’ve made improvements to our parks, we’ve seen a significant increase in use, and that’s the intent here.
“City officials evaluated 34 parks that have basketball and tennis courts, and they assessed the condition, use and location of the parks and amenities.The city identified 17 parks that need repairs, which will be performed in two phases. Each phase is expected to cost about $500,000, depending on the winning bids,’’ officials said.
I’ll still be putting nets on rims this summer. I’ve already delivered 1 net this year and had a request for another a week ago (I gave back the ladder I’d borrowed from Mike Riley of Insignia Signs and just got my new ladder this Wednesday).
My next plan is to start summer basketball camps for kids at up to 10 locations. I want to hire local college players to supervise teams of local high school players to run the camps. The high school players will be paid with funds from Montgomery County Youth Works, I just need to find between $20-40K to pay supervisors, supply balls, water buffaloes, and practice pinnies. Now, at least we’ll have some nice courts.
I’m not sure what courts are due for repair- since the DDn writer talks about parks I’ve never heard of. “Belmont park” is probably “Walnut Hills” since it’s one of two roller hockey rinks. And, why Jane Newcome is getting repaved is beyond me- when it’s almost perfect while the heavily played Dayton View park is being ignored. If there is one place that needs the lights back on for late night ball it’s at the corner of Broadway and Superior.
Of course, my name will never be mentioned in the DDn as the reason the city has finally decided to do something about our deplorable basketball courts- but that’s OK. You will know- and the kids who play, know the “net man” came last year and listened- and acted, and this year- things got better.
Thanks to those of you who really helped out last year- and I’m going to miss some names I’m sure- but Kevin B., Shannon O., Bill R., Missy W., Scott H., Tabatha M., Kyle M., Lewis G., Jim J., Adrian H., Rob D., Norm W., Isabelle S., Sara M., Brent J., Mike G., Milt C., Kevin H., Brian W., Barry B., Terry P., thanks- and also to Jai and Cory for working on the video.
My only advice to the city is: Invest in the best rim out there- one that’s built for outdoor ball and that has a design for hanging nets that can’t be beat: The First Team FT172D of all the rims I’ve seen, this is the only one that will stand up and last – can take chains or nets (please stick with nets- chains are brutal on the balls and also dangerous). It’s worth the extra money.
Thank you to the City Commission and the city staff that have made this happen. This is the kind of investment in our community I can be proud of.
Here is City Manager Tim Riordan on the planned improvements: