Lafayette

Mar 28, 2014 7:38 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

New basketball court benefits Lafayette neighborhood

One Lafayette Parish neighborhood is taking a stand against crime one "Alley-oop" at a time.

A new basketball court is now located right by Four Corners off of University Avenue at Bridge Ministry.

It's an area known at times for crime, and the goal is to create a safe place for teens to play.

The new basketball court is a community effort, and the hope is that it will be a slam dunk for the neighborhood.

"It's not just a basketball court, but it's a place for them as a community to come together and gather and enjoy each other's company other," Jennifer Reynaud said. She's executive director of Bridge Ministry, which has worked for ten years to improve the neighborhood.

"About three years ago, we started talking about (how) we needed more space. We needed to be able to do more with the kids, more with the neighborhood. So we purchased a piece of land here on University, 512 North University and started dreaming of what we would want," Reynaud said.

Big dreams brought big results. The court was made possible by about $55,000 in grant money.

David Woods lives in the neighborhood and hopes the court will make a difference. He said the neighborhood has come a long way.

"You couldn't not have had your kids stray out too far. The parks was not a good spot cause they'll run into either drugs or needles. Now it's a more safer place, where you can let them come to Bridge (Ministry) and not have to worry about them at all," said David Woods, president of the Neighborhood Association.

"I mean that's what it's all about, is having a safe place to live so that then you can begin to change the rest of your life, to have other opportunities," Reynaud said.

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