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‘Hoop it Up’: new basketball courts represent a step towards revitalizing Century Gardens Park, west end

New basketball courts opened at Century Gardens Park in downtown Calgary Sunday New basketball courts opened at Century Gardens Park in downtown Calgary Sunday

A 3-on-3 basketball tournament held at the new Tri court at Century Gardens in the city's west end is about more than growing the game.

It's also a way to bring community together and brighten a stretch of downtown in a spot better known for its troubled past

“Downtown is a vital place to be as we are creating more residential opportunities, public space opportunities,” said Ward 7 councillor Terry Wong.

“If we can’t make a great downtown," Wong asked, "what do we have for Calgary?”

Basketball games are running throughout the afternoon, with the first 20 players that signed up securing a free basketball.

 Hundreds attended late Sunday morning and into the afternoon with a brief speech from the mayor.

Samuel Lagao said he headed to the courts  to connect with other athletes.

“I came down here just because fun, and to have some competition. That’s all basically,” he said.

“I do want to win stuff, (and) came here to see my friends.”

Teni Somefun with Stryker Sports Development says this opportunity is about growing the game in the inner city and allowing everyone of all ages to compete.

“All these people here just means that, we're kind of building that basketball culture in Calgary and we're just getting there further and further,” he said.

“With places that are rundown, once people start playing basketball in there, you just see the whole thing, the whole culture, it just comes up.”

Basketball players celebrate the opening of new courts at Century Gardens in downtown Calgary on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023

Somefun adds that with the recent edition of the Calgary Surge basketball team, the sport is bringing new faces to the game.

“A lot of hope, especially, the next few years, see where Calgary basketball goes. I'm really excited. So I'm just happy to be a part of it,” said Somefun.

Century Gardens Park is located at 826 8 Street S.W and is open to the public. Top Stories

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