Courts at city park reopened

After closing the basketball courts at Flanigan Park at the end of July, The Alize Johnson Foundation reopened them for play early Monday morning, Firetree Place officials said.

The padlocks on the courts were removed about 8 a.m. and the facility built, in large part through a donation by Johnson, who was drafted by the Indiana Pacers, was reopened for public use.

Coordination between Firetree Place, 600 Campbell St., and the foundation resulted in the closure of the courts July 31. During this time, the city was experiencing an outburst of violence and inappropriate behavior.

The opening came with a request by the foundation and Firetree Place personnel for those using the facility to treat it with respect and help offer a safe environment for all ages of athletes.

City police were asked about the reopening of the outdoor basketball facility but did not comment.

Shawn Washington, city recreation director, does not have responsibility over the courts, Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said.

Campana said he was hopeful the facility could be used for what it was intended.

Campana originally wanted the facility to be built at Memorial Park, which has a basketball court but not with the professional quality of the court at Flanigan Park.

Johnson decided against Memorial Park location after receiving notice it would need to go through several city approval processes.

Instead, Johnson’s court was built at the non-profit organization and was opened in early June.