WILLIAMSPORT— No shooting, no scoring, no rebounds or assists.
At Williamsport’s Memorial Park, the hoops, backboards and posts on the basketball court have been removed by order of the city’s mayor.
Mayor Gabe Campana said he made the move after persistent problems with littering and drug use.
“We gave certain individuals an opportunity to make things better, to step up to the plate, and I am not going to allow a shooting to occur in that park like they have in other parks in the city,” said Campana.
Across town, at an event celebrating the city’s little league history, reaction was divided.
Steve Reed said, “I don’t think it is a problem that they took those hoops down. If people had respected the place, it would still be there.”
However, even in this community that is crazy about baseball, a lot of families also enjoy shooting hoops.
Steve Sanso said, “I take my kids down there and we play, so you know, I was a little upset. If they keep them down, they need to provide something else for the children to do.”
Mayor Campana told Newswatch 16 he is moving ahead with plans to transform the park with special amenities for senior citizens.
Campana said, “We are looking at a new sport called pickleball. It is the fastest growing sport among senior citizens, and we are looking at putting some courts in there.”
He added a new pool is also in the works for Memorial Park, and pointed out that there are several other basketball courts in the city.
Some residents said they are working on a petition, and plan to present it at a meeting on Monday in Williamsport.