B-Ballers Back to Sinking Baskets at Renovated Court

Jordan Hughes winds back his arms as he sinks another basket at the new Fulton Courts. Photo by Jackson Chen.

BY JACKSON CHEN | It’s game on at the Robert Fulton Houses as officials unveiled the newly renovated basketball court on Ninth Ave.

Young b-ballers, parents, and community advocates joined New York City Housing Authority reps, elected officials, and the developer during the July 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new courts between W. 18th and 19th Sts.

The court renovations were done as part of Artimus Construction’s 18-story affordable housing project at 413 W. 18th St. that would provide 160 units of permanently affordable units. The $77.8 million development will build onto the complex’s parking lot and began construction in May. As part of the deal, the developer agreed to renovate the basketball courts and the children’s playground.

The previous courts at Fulton Houses had seen years of wear and tear resulting in bent backboards and torn nets, according to the players. But the renovation breathes new life into the courts with fresh hoops and a vibrant red and blue layout.

Crowds checked out the much-improved Robert Fulton Basketball Court on its opening day. Photo by Allen Oster.

Jordan Hughes, who’s at the court daily, said the old backboards and ground were uneven. Many spectators would often have to stand as the benches were sparse and beat up, he added. Zayin Bumbray, another frequent player from Fulton Houses, said the old courts looked trashy.

“The courts were busted, the hoops were destroyed, the nets were torn up,” Bumbray said.

But now, their local court is ready for some serious pickup games.

“It feels better,” Hughes said of the new court. “It helps you work on your shot to make you more dominant and the spacing is good, it’s like a real actual court.”

Councilmember Corey Johnson said the court was a big win for the residents as it’s rare a developer is willing to offer amenities or assets to the community they invade.

“In one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the United States of America, it takes a lot of teamwork to accomplish more than just what a developer wants to potentially give or what the city is asking for them,” Johnson said at the ribbon cutting.

“To make this happen is a really big deal,” Johnson said. “It’s because of all your hard work and us coming together collectively… to ask for more.”

Councilmember Corey Johnson and Assemblymember Dick Gottfried (front row) were joined by eager B-ballers at the newly renovated basketball court’s July 12 ribbon-cutting. Photo courtesy Office of Councilmember Corey Johnson.
Kids practice their shots at the recently renovated Fulton Court on Ninth Ave. Photo by Jackson Chen.