Springfield has a new ‘top-of-the-line’ basketball court

A ribbon cutting and dedication was held for Springfield’s newest community basketball court in June.

“Every time someone steps on the court, I believe they are going to feel like they matter,” Jackie Mounts, executive director of H.O.P.E said. “I believe God gave the best court in the city to some of the most disadvantage kids in the city.”

The basketball court, belonging to H.O.P.E, a Springfield nonprofit, is located at 718 Linden Ave. and is open to the community.

>>PHOTOS: 'Top-of-the-line' basketball court in Springfield

The court is “a top-of-the-line basketball court” with solar-lights and an actual basketball surface, Mounts said.

Jayson Gee, a stand-out athlete who graduated from Springfield South High School and is the University of Cincinnati’s Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach, attended the dedication Thursday.

Mounts told the News-Sun that there was an older court on the property for many years that was used frequently. For 17 years, H.O.P.E used the court for a free basketball camp and their teen center, Rock of Hope, used it for fun.

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“Over the years it had just deteriorated,” Mounts said. “There was just a need to upgrade it.”

The project, costing $90,000, was funded through First Christian Church in Springfield, and SportScape Builders in Marysville, Mounts said.

First Christian Church donated about $54,000 and SportScape Builders filled in the gaps, Drew McClary, the local and global missions minister at First Christian explained.

He said that for 11 years the church has done a special offering in December called, “Our Birthday Gift to Jesus.” Every year the church chooses a local or global partner to work with to identify a project that the special offering will fund.

“As a church we wanted to bring those funds back to Springfield,” McClary said.

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In previous years, McClary said the church helped with H.O.P.E’s basketball camp and “we saw how many kids come out and how many kids they have on weekly basis at their after school program and it just made sense.”

Mounts explained that SportScape Builders, the company that build the basketball court, decided to use their own funds to help “make it something special.” Children’s Rescue Center in Springfield donated the land.

“My hope is that it has a domino effect. That it will give some motivation to elevate things in that whole area and that everything moving forward that happens is the best, not a throw-off or second-hand,” Mounts said. “That’s my prayer. That’s my hope.”

McClary said the basketball court will give kids a safe place to play and something to take pride in.

“Investing in something good that already takes place in Springfield and showing kids that they matter and they are worth the investment” was the idea behind the project, he said.

Mount said she’s thinking of what it will mean for the kids.

“We’re excited for the community and kids to have this opportunity,” Mounts added.

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