PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Residents in one Portsmouth neighborhood have a plan for reducing crime. They’d like to see a basketball court be built.
“We used to play basketball all day till the sun went down,” said resident Calvin Harris.
“It gave a lot of us a lot of things to do,” added 19-year-old resident Keyon Brown.
Years ago, before the old Cradock High School was reduced to rubble, teenagers would go there everyday to play basketball.
“It kept a lot of people off the streets, doing crazy stuff,” Brown said.
With the courts gone, the city built a skate park and moved playground equipment next to it.
A former Cradock Civic League president says there was hope for building an outdoor court, but not enough money. The city says that was never in the works.
“There are a lot of areas that are unused in the community,” said resident Kisha Brown. “The children won’t even have to go out of the area to play basketball.”
Right now, if Cradock residents want to play basketball, they have to leave the neighborhood and head to courts somewhere else.
“No one really feels like going all the way to Brighton or Cavalier Manor,” Keyon Brown said. “If you don’t have a car, that’s a long walk.”
Residents believe a court would help cut down on crime by giving teenagers something to do.
“You may see teenagers waking around here now,” Kisha Brown said. “They have idle time. Maybe they will do things they shouldn’t be doing, because there is nothing for them to do.”
“I think at a basketball court you could hold gatherings, cookouts or reunions,” Harris said. “It would just help.”
The city says it has made improvements to Cradock. It has redone all the football and baseball fields. There was also a community center build behind Cradock Middle School, but residents say the community center doesn’t have a basketball court.