New basketball court breathes new life into Old South Baton Rouge

New basketball court breathes new life into Old South Baton Rouge
Published: Jul. 21, 2015 at 9:32 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2015 at 11:59 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - As part of Downtown Baton Rouge's new expanded boundaries, children now have a new place to play basketball and learn life lessons in Old South Baton Rouge.

LSU Men's Basketball coach Johnny Jones, Walk-On's Enterprises and BREC teamed up to make the Walk-On's basketball court possible. The funding came in part from the annual Johnny Jones Courts for Kids Golf Classic.

Brandy Landry, co-owner of Walk-Ons, said he grew up on a basketball court and realized the importance the game beyond basketball.

"There's a tremendous need around Baton Rouge and our entire state for major upgrades to our public basketball courts," said Landry. "With Johnny's help, we were able to raise enough funds to make a meaningful difference for kids who aspire to play for LSU and other programs in the years to come."

Downtown Development District Director Davis Rhorer says they are looking to expand their borders and improve areas outside of downtown proper.

"You got the infrastructure in place. You don't have to build roads," said Rhorer. "We're doing some sidewalk improvements now and sewers, but it's about predictability and stability for the neighborhood. That's what's needed here and so we will help to monitor those areas that we're over now."

Cheryl Woods lives in the area and said it is a good start.

"I think it's a great idea, but I also think it still needs leadership," Woods said. "Someone was telling me, 'Well you know they want to build a lot more parks' and I was like 'They have parks. They don't have mothers taking their children to parks.' All of that has to come into play."

Councilwoman Tara Wicker said the part of the community along South 11th Street is fighting to make a comeback.

"I believe that when we talk about revitalizing it's really breathing the breath of life back into something that has been forgotten," Wicker said. "Many people in this community have fond memories of this park, fond memories of what this neighborhood was like before decline, before everybody moved out. What they're feeling is a resurgence of that energy, there's a lot of restored hope."

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