On Monday, elected officials joined residents to cut the ribbon on the new court at Queensbridge South. The $306,000 project was funded by both Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Borough President Melinda Katz.
In October, the Queensbridge community also opened a new basketball court behind the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement. That $350,000 project was funded through Van Bramer’s participatory budgeting program.
Altogether, the elected officials have allocated $1.5 million to renovate multiple outdoor gathering and play spaces in the development.
“Queensbridge has a lot of basketball courts and playgrounds throughout the grounds here,” Van Bramer said. “They should be always in tip-top shape.
“They should be parts of the community that people are proud to have,” he added. “We want everyone to use them and to feel good about them.”
April Simpson, president of the tenants association, said when she brought back the Queensbridge summer basketball tournament, she noticed the courts needed repairs.
“Growing up here in Queensbridge all my life, we played on this court,” Simpson said. “The youth, and even some of our older adults, they love to play basketball. It’s an entertaining game, as well as good exercise.
“Being on a basketball court teaches you discipline and working together,” she added.
Basketball was also a way to help keep young people off the streets and focused on positive things, Simpson said, such as staying in school, going to college and getting good jobs.
“Basketball ties into all of that,” she said.