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Operation Home Base aims to give community safe place for positive play

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:30 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Two Richmond organizations are teaming up to improve their community with a brand new outdoor basketball court.

Feed the Streets RVA and the Team Loaded Foundation are renovating the court behind Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood. Adidas also chipped in to help with the project. The court features new glass backboards and poles, a fresh blacktop surface and street art on the floor.

The organizations say that the purpose of the initiative is to create a safe space for both children and adults to engage in positive physical activity, adding that many of the existing recreational areas are in poor condition. The basketball court will be open to the public.

“We want kids to fall in love with athletics, back to basketball, spending their time out here, constructive, a better future,” said Cory Jones, president of Feed the Streets RVA. “We just wanted to come together. It’s been community partners putting everything together right here in Richmond, Virginia, coming together to make a difference.”

“If you have 20, 25 kids on a basketball court doing something positive, constructive, then they’re not 20, 25 kids with idle minds in the streets doing bad things,” added Ty White, who is the president of Team Loaded AAU. “We just wanted to present a safe house and a safe haven for young people and adults to be active and be involved and part of the community doing something special.”

The finished product will be unveiled to the public during a Community Day celebration on Saturday. Featured guests will be on hand, including Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and councilman Michael Jones, according to organizers. The festivities will run from 1-4 p.m. and include free food, food trucks, a DJ, vendors, giveaways and basketball activities.

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