“We’ll do a court a year as long as I keep coaching,” promised Boeheim, speaking at the noon dedication ceremony. “I love doing this; this gives me more pleasure than most anything else I do because it’s all for these kids,” he added, gesturing to the adoring boys and girls wearing orange T-shirts.
While the two courts in the Near West Side park will directly benefit the kids who play on them, they will also help the environment. As part of Onondaga County’s Save the Rain initiative, the courts were poured with porous pavement; indeed, they are the first green courts in the city. “These courts are quieter, so you won’t hear any complaints from the neighbors,” said County Executive Joanie Mahoney to the kids, half-joking. “But you’ll also find that there won’t be any puddles after it rains because the water will be absorbed into the pavement.”
Save the Rain is a stormwater management plan intended to reduce waterrunoff pollution to Onondaga Lake and its tributaries. It is part of the federally mandated effort to address Syracuse’s combined sewer overflow problems. While Save the Rain is pretty cool, the kids in attendance appeared more impressed by the incredibly tall celebrities in their midst, and Derrick Coleman and John Wallace obliged by shooting hoops, signing autographs and attempting to high-five the much shorter youngsters.
Court date: While Skiddy Park (left) became the third in the city to be enhanced with basketball courts built with money donated by Jim Boeheim and Carmelo Anthony’s foundations, former Syracuse University great Derrick Coleman (above) trekked to the Near West Side park with his old coach and fellow Orangeman John Wallace to give the kids a thrill.