Neighbors battle over basketball hoop on small Portsmouth block

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A battle over a neighborhood basketball hoop is brewing on a small block in Portsmouth.

“It needs to stop,” said Joey Lee, who contacted 10 On Your Side.

Lee placed the hoop in front of his home on Treakle Terrace, in grass alongside the road. While he occasionally plays, the hoop is mainly meant for the neighborhood kids.

“We got it for the kids to have fun, rather than doing drugs, going out and egging houses… It’s something for the kids to do.”

In recent weeks, Lee received a letter from the city, demanding that the hoop be removed from the public right-of-way. It states that the hoop is in violation of city code.

Lee subsequently moved the hoop closer to the family’s home, so as to avoid the right-of-way. But now it’s surrounded by grass.

“It’s hard for the kids to bounce a ball when it’s on grass.”

10 On Your Side reached out to the city for comment, but our calls were not returned as of Thursday night.

Lee suspects a neighbor called Public Works to complain about the hoop.

10 On Your Side spoke with many people living on the block. Several people, who didn’t want to speak on camera, claimed that they are opposed to the hoop.

Some families stated that it disrupts the peace on the quiet, dead-end street, creating noise into the evening. One person said that in the summer, kids from other neighborhoods swam the hoop. A couple of people claimed that basketballs have hit cars and fences, causing damage.

But those in support of the hoop argue it’s harmless.

“All they’re doing is out here playing,” said Danielle Smithey.

“They ain’t running the streets, and terrorizing people’s houses and stuff,” said Frank Palaia. “They’re out here playing basketball.”