Parks Joins With Courts Of Dreams Foundation To Open Reconstructed Basketball Courts

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Courts of Dreams Foundation Chairman Natasha Cornstein, former New York Knick Larry Johnson, Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz, Parks Committee Vice Chair of Community Board 8 Laura Spalter, children from the St. James Recreation Center, Mosholu Montefiore Community Center, Riverdale Neighborhood House and Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, and members of Bronx Community Board 8, the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, and the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy to cut the ribbon on $162,000 in renovations at Van Cortlandt Park’s Classic Playground basketball courts. After the ribbon cutting, the New York Knicks clinic coaching staff along, with Knicks legend Larry Johnson, hosted a basketball clinic for children attending the event.

“Thanks to funding from the Courts of Dreams Foundation and Mayor Bloomberg, Classic Playground now has brand new basketball courts for players of all ages and stages, from kids to college students and even weekend warriors,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Van Cortlandt Park, the City’s fourth largest green space, is home to everything from bocce courts, and cricket fields to horseback riding trails. We are thrilled to add these newly renovated courts to one of the Bronx’s most popular parks.”

“We are thrilled with the results of our most recent collaboration with the NYC Parks Department and look forward to hearing the laughter and voices of children enjoying these newly renovated courts for years to come,” said Natasha Cornstein, co-founder and chair of the Courts of Dreams Foundation.

The $162,000 project is funded in equal amounts by Mayor Bloomberg and the Courts of Dreams Foundation, and will reconstruct the park’s two existing basketball courts, including the installation of new asphalt pavement, backboards, court lines, benches, and the cleaning of the site’s storm drains.

The Courts of Dreams Foundation is an organization whose mission is to restore and maintain outdoor basketball courts for children in NYC neighborhoods and around the world, fostering healthy, safe, communities while promoting the values of basketball, such as team work, mutual respect and leadership.

Van Cortlandt Park is the city’s fourth largest and one of its prime destinations for outdoor recreation. It is home to the country’s first municipal golf course and the Bronx’s largest freshwater lake. The park is known nationwide for its challenging cross-country trails, which are a proving ground each fall for runners at all levels of the sport. Van Cortlandt’s 65-acre Parade Ground, which contains fields for baseball, softball, cricket, soccer, and football, was recently reconstructed.

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