On Monday Parks & Rec Director Joe Siciliano and Greenwich Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones met up with David D’Andrea former president of the Chickahominy Reunion Association to check out the resurfaced basketball court at Hamilton Avenue School.
The court, which is heavily used by local teens, was recently resurfaced.
The project was long in the making, and was unrelated to the recent repairs to the school’s field.
The cost of work to the basketball court involved three partners: the Board of Education, Parks & Recreation, and the Chickahominy Reunion Association, which was the major funder, contributing $10,000. The BOE and Parks & Rec each contributed $5,000.
D’Andrea was president of CRA for 20 years and planned the public-private partnership while he was still president. The current President of CRA is Frank Cortese.
“I’m so excited for the children,” Dr. Jones said. “To have a court of this quality, and for them to have access to this every day, including weekends and evenings, is phenomenal.”
“And this is one of my favorite sports too!” Jones added.
D’Andrea said CRA had previously funded the court’s resurfacing two or three times over the years.
The process involves several steps. First the cracks were sealed, followed by a base sealer, then the color, and lastly, the striping.
Siciliano and D’Andrea recalled growing up four doors apart on Hamilton Avenue and playing basketball at the school’s basketball court, which was on the roof at the back of the original school.
“The court was up high,” D’Andrea recalled. “It was beautiful.”
“We shoveled the court and played basketball all winter,” Siciliano said.
D’Andrea was a basketball coach for many years. The first team he coached was at St. Roch’s, which was part of a church league.
“We practiced out here in the cold every week,” he said. “Every once in a while the janitor would give us a break.”
“We had no indoor gym, so when we went to play indoors on Saturdays and Sundays we had no clue what we were doing,” Siciliano said. “We factored in a deviation for the wind and cold.”
Today, the basketball court is as popular a destination as the original one.
“This court gets used day and night,” Siciliano said.
“There’s some good ballplayers here,” D’Andrea said. “It’s probably the best school outdoor court in town.”