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Courtside in Little Tokyo

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at 09:23AM
On the Streets of Little Tokyo Ed Fuentes

San Pedro street is the site of the San Tai San 2009, a basketball tournament for grades 3 through 7.

On Saturday, San Pedro street in Little Tokyo became a recreation center as courts were put in place for San Tai San (3 on 3) 2009, a tournament organized by the Little Tokyo Service Center for the last eleven years as a way to show the need for a permanent recreation facility in the neighborhood.

Over that time the group has acquired a site on Los Angeles stret for the project, and this year displayed a new rendering for the facility, now named the Budokan of Los Angeles. The building is planned to hold four courts that will host martial arts, basketball, volleyball and also provide a facility for arts and social programs.

"The successful three on three basketball tournament brings out scores of young people to compete in an family oriented environment, " said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who added accolades for the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center for reaching out to the children of LA's BEST, who participated in a morning Chibi-K ("little person") kilometer run.

The 30,000-square-foot, $15 million recreation center is proposed to rise between 2nd and 3rd streets, directly behind the under-construction LAPD Motorpool. A city-owned parking garage could potentially share the site. Fundraising is underway.

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