A basketball court underneath the Triborough Bridge in Astoria recently received a big makeover thanks to an artist known for his large-scale, colorful murals.
On March 1, Brooklyn-based artist Mark Paul Deren, better known as MADSTEEZ, completed a custom court design at Triborough Bridge Playground B. It was the first renovation for the court in more than 20 years. The design was done in partnership with the Big Ten Network, the sports television network that streams collegiate sports games by Big Ten Conference teams.
The art features the colors of all 14 Big Ten universities and includes the artist’s signature M on the asphalt. Two new basketball hoops were also installed.
Former New York Knicks player Jared Jeffries helped to unveil the design with a youth clinic run by NBA trainer Chris Brickley. About 50 students from After-School All Stars and the Zone 126 after-school program in Astoria participated in the clinic.
“The Big Ten Network has brought color and fun into this neighborhood basketball court,” said Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “With new rims, weather-resistant asphalt and an eye-catching mural, these hoops are sure to be a hit.”
Brooklyn-based artist MADSTEEZ has created large-scale murals and other designs for companies such as Nike, BMW, Target, Red Bull and more.
“This has to be one of my favorite/most rewarding projects I have worked on,” the artist said in an Instagram post. “It’s one thing to paint a public mural but it’s even more gratifying to paint a public space that people can interact with and physically enjoy.”
@bigtennetwork BTN x Madsteez Basketball Court, 2018 @nycparks This has to be one of my favorite / most rewarding projects I have worked on. Its one thing to paint a public mural but its even more gratifying to paint a public space that people can interact with & physically enjoy. And to have my name as part of the official park title is absolutely WEENtstic!!!! I want to thank the @bigtennetwork (especially Jordan & Ryan) , the awesome peeps of Astoria, & my ride or die crew for making it all possible, @ciao.mein , @seanpenncils , @dad , @zurbaran1 , @michaeldeangelo & @timmygnyc #timelapse #bigten #basketball #nyc @hulu
The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament took place at Madison Square Garden from Feb. 28 through March 4 and Jordan Maleh, director of digital marketing and communications at BTN, said the organization wanted to give back to the community.
“The basketball tradition in New York City is second to none, and it’s one of the many reasons the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament has made its way to Madison Square Garden,” Maleh said. “As a network our goal was to, even in a small way, make a meaningful contribution to that culture and we’ve been fortunate to have a partner like NYC Parks to make it a reality.”