What developers said they hope to be one of the top 10 coolest outdoor basketball courts in the country is now open in Dayton.
The ribbon was cut on Saturday for the Project Rebound court restoration at the Greater Dayton Recreation Center at Roosevelt Commons. One of the three winning projects at the 2017 UpDatyon Summit, Project Rebound generated $75,000 in donations on the heels of the $1,000 UpDayton grant to rehab the court.
“It doesn’t matter what part of the city you hail from, a suburban kid, a rural kid, or an urban kid, this is your space,” said Bryan Stewart, the leader of the Project Rebound effort.
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Saturday, some 20 “Dayton Dreamers” basketball players, a youth development camp, Dayton Police, Dayton Fire, elected city officials, volunteers and Dayton neighbors gathered for the ribbon cutting and for an inaugural pick-up basketball game following the ceremony.
“We installed the bleachers Friday and within an hour, there were 25 kids here just organically,” Stewart said. “They were just so excited about the space.”
The old basketball court needed to be resurfaced before the colorful mural by Dayton artist James Pete could be completed. Adorned on the jerseys of the two basketball players in the mural are the words “Gem City Shine” on one and “Dayton Strong” on the other.
Neighborhood children and members of the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association helped paint the design. The new court includes a fence, brand new hoops and flood lights so games can be played at night.
At the ceremony, Stewart mentioned the possibility of an outdoor scoreboard in the future.
Donations toward Project Rebound included concrete from Ernst Concrete, bleachers, player seating and scorer’s table from Lowe’s, a $9,000 grant from Dayton and Montgomery County Public Health to cover cost of hoops, paint and materials from Star City Paints and Benjamin Moore and the Bobcat used for construction from Vandalia Rental.
“This is a community that needs these kinds of things,” said Will Smith, board member-elect of Dayton Public Schools. “Our kids need more activities and more space like this they can come to. Just to have these moments where the community comes together, especially after the year we had. We’ve had so many down moments, so just to have these upswings. I’m proud of the work that was put in to bring this here.”
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