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Revamp of basketball and handball courts done, ribbon cutting Saturday

Pre revamp

Pre revamp

Sept. 15, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

The basketball and handball courts in Hunters Point will officially reopen this weekend with a whole new look.

The 48th Avenue courts between Vernon Boulevard and 5th Street got a complete makeover this summer, with the resurfacing of all three basketball courts and all four handball courts. Fencing was erected and new equipment has been added.

In celebration, the Parks Department and the Long Island City Youth Sports League, a neighborhood group that organizes sporting events for kids, are hosting a ribbon cutting and free basketball clinic on Saturday at 10 a.m.

“LIC is growing and it is an expansive community of young professionals and families, and the courts are like the epicenter of activity where a lot of the youth, as well as us old guys, can go out there, get together, have fun and play pick up games,” said CJ Ortuno, a resident and representative for the LIC Youth Sports League.

park1The new courts were designed to appeal to all ages. One of the three courts was built specifically for youth athletics, with 8-foot high basketball hoops, rather than standard 10-foot hoops.

The project is also currently undergoing a second phase, with the overhaul of a small play area at the 5th Street end for the benefit toddlers. The new space will have a jungle gym and soft surface, and is slated to be completed by next spring, said Leslie Wright, the NYS Regional Director for the state Parks Department.

“We want to take the best care of all of our park facilities,” Wright said. “Wear and tear had caught up to this one, so we gave it a full refresher.”

In the spirit of the new youth-oriented courts, a local league will perform drills and play a game on the new courts on Saturday, Ortuno said.

The coach, Nnamdi Ameneche, or “Coach N,” will also teach several clinics for boys and girls in first through seventh grades.

The court revamp was slated to cost $325,000 according to an LIC Post article last fall, though in total ended up costing $527,000 between the design and construction phases, said Wright. The toddler play area is not included in that budget.

Saturday’s event is being sponsored by Coca Cola, Ortuno said, and the multinational company will provide refreshments and promotional materials throughout the day.

“The NYS Parks Department did a really good job throughout the process,” Ortuno said. “They listened to the community, and there were a number of times throughout the process when folks approached them with ideas and community input really helped shape what it looks like now.”

The celebration of the new courts will run from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and the clinic schedule will be:

-10:30 a.m. Boys grades one through three

-11:30 a.m. Girls grades one through three

-12:30 p.m. Boys and Girls grades four through seven


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I remember the old days when I could sell several hundred dollars of crack at this park. They called me Crosseyes and had the shit. Whether you looking for the uptown Harlem mud or midtown snow, you bought from me.


Still trying to figure out how this took four months. The park closed in early May and should have been opened in early June. Now there is just a month of good weather before an expected brutally cold winter.


Anybody else see how many “workers” stood around at the preschool trailer site on 49th Ave? Straight out of the Sopranos.


Can someone please explain how it can take until next spring to rebuild a toddler play area that is smaller than my living room? I walked by the space yesterday, and work was being done at 6:45 in the evening by a motley looking crew of workers. The whole thing is very odd.

Also, it’s a travesty that the sprinkler in the State Park was broken for most of the summer. If the NYS Parks Dept doesn’t have the funds or the expertise to maintain such a complicated sprinkler system, than they should just install something basic. Kids don’t really care as long as it works. What a waste of taxpayer money!


Go to the police precinct and get a sprinkler cap for a hydrant like generations of New Yorkers have always done. Why does everything have to be so perfectly arranged and presented to you people?


It doesn’t. That’s my whole point. If you want your hard-earned money to go to fund public projects that break two years after being installed and are never repaired, by all means be my guest.

And who exactly are “you people?” I’ve lived in the five boroughs since 1977. My mother was raised in Queens. My grandmother worked at the Bulova factory. Which “people” do you claim to represent?


It’s just politicians’ purchasing union support. Happens all over the city. Nothing to see here, move along.

Dan Barnes

I’m still trying to figure out what cost $527,000? They repainted the court blue, replaced the older Backboards and Support polls, repaired some fence, and….took 4 months to do this. It’s sad that the company hired to do this work maybe showed up once every 2 or 3 days to actually work while ruining the summer for the local kids and ball players who use these courts daily. I would love to see a breakdown of the $527,000 because there was not over half a million dollars of work done!!! Perfect example of someone stealing money from tax payers.

Truth Teller

Welcome to NYC. Take your pick: either live in a gentrifying neighborhood and get your parks and all the overpriced maintenance that comes with them or you can live a bombed-out, ignored neighborhood and get nothing.

It’s never been any different in this city, and it never will be. So instead of complaining, grab your ball, put on your tux and tails, and enjoy your fancy little basketball court. And be happy with the knowledge that in NYC, there’s always a bunch of poor unlucky mugs in some other neighborhood who have it much worse than you.


“The NYS Parks Department did a really good job throughout the process”, no they didn’t! WTF? Why did it end up costing almost twice as much money? As far as I recall this is taxpayer money. And whenever public money is used, it just magically goes astronomically over budget and everyone just waves it through. But then there’s never enough money for more schools and teachers. BS!

Not from around here

A ribbon-cutting for maintenance and upkeep that should have been done anyway. wow. Are our standards really this low?


What is the LIC Sports League? I don’t see any information anywhere. Are there any fountains or public bathrooms near these courts? Athletes need water and toilets.


Hi Harris, the correct name is the Long Island City Youth Sports League and the website is We also run indoor games in LIC for adults as well.

For those looking to have their kids participate in Saturday’s sessions or our winter programs please Email us at


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