By Bill Parry
It took more than 30 years of effort, but the residents of the Woodside Houses finally have basketball courts and a play area they can be proud of.
Annie Cotton-Morris, president of the Woodside Houses Tenants Association, and students joined City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) to cut the ribbon and play an inaugural game Tuesday.
After years of poor maintenance, the courts, located at 31-5 49th St., became deteriorated and uneven, posing safety hazards for the young people who play basketball and other sports there. The $500,000 project features new courts, new scoreboards with padded stanchions and a Woodside-themed paint job.
“Young people in the Woodside Houses deserve safe, modern outdoor spaces, not dilapidated, run-down courts,” Van Bramer said. The courts are home to the annual Woodside Classic, a youth basketball tournament that draws hundreds of sports fans from around the city to the neighborhood.
“This court is an example of what strong collaboration can do to make communities safer, cleaner, and more protected,” NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly said. “A vibrant public space like this is an invaluable resource for residents, a place where all can compete and play together, encouraging positivity.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr