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First Game on New Gladys Park Court to Pit Skid Row 3 on 3 Against LAPD

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, December 26, 2008, at 02:10PM
Lining the Court Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Last Friday, workers from Ace Surfaces prepare the new basketball court at Gladys Park for lines.

The new Nike-branded basketball court at Gladys Park will get its first real action tomorrow, as players from the Skid Row 3 on 3 league take on LAPD's Central Division. Afterward, the league will begin playoff games for its second season.

Gladys Park was built in 1981, the first of two developed in Skid Row by the Community Redevelopment Agency. By 1986, restrooms built as part of the park had become dangerous magnets for drug sales and use, and in March of that year the city tore them down. The entire park was razed less than a year later.

When it reopened in late 1988, the new design included a pair of half-sized basketball courts. Those lasted until this year, when the concrete courts were torn up to make way for a new full-court layout that features a surface made out of recycled shoe rubber and donated by Nike.

The effort to get the new court was led by Skid Row activist General Jeff and his organization Issues and Solutions. The basketball improvements are part of a broader package that includes new drinking water pipes, game tables with shade, and eventually the installation of an Automated Public Toilet.

Though the new basketball court was designed the be as close to regulations as possible, the small site led to some accommodations. The court is roughly 80' long, close to the 84' length for high school and college courts. It's 43' 6" wide, a bit narrower than the regulation 50'. That narrowness means that the 3-point line is moved in to just under 20'. Along with Nike, funding for the court came from Recreation and Parks and the LA84 Foundation.

Tomorrow's 3 on 3 events kick off at 11am.

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