College Basketball Tournaments: Harmon Park Court Renovation

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Built in 1927, Harmon Park is legendary in Phoenix basketball circles. The park has long attracted college and pro players looking for a top-flight pickup game. It even served as a training facility for the Harlem Globetrotters. Harmon Park has become a bit worn, so the organizers of the 2017 Phoenix Final Four decided to help renovate the court with help from the NCAA. We’ll take you to the court to show you the renovations.

TED SIMONS: THE NCAA FINAL-4 TOURNAMENT IS MAKING ITS MARK ACROSS THE VALLEY. DOWNTOWN PHOENIX IS GETTING READY FOR THE FAN FEST AND BIG CONCERT SERIES THIS WEEKEND. THE UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX STADIUM HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED AND THE TOURISTS ARE ALREADY ARRIVING. THERE'S ALSO A PHOENIX PARK THAT RECEIVED A 300 THOUSAND DOLLAR FACE LIFT THANKS TO THE N-C-A-A. PRODUCER AND VIDEOGRAPHER ZAC PACLEB FOUND OUT WHAT MAKES HARMON PARK SO SPECIAL.

ZAC PACLEB: PLANS FOR THE HARMON PARK RENOVATION STARTED OVER A YEAR AGO. IT'S JUST ONE OF THE MANY -- IN SOME COMMUNITIES, THE BASKETBALL COURT IS THE TOWN SQUARE. FOR STEVE, HARMON COURT SOUTH OF DOWNTOWN PHOENIX IS MORE THAN A PLACE TO PLAY BASKETBALL.

STEVE COLTER: IT IS A SECOND HOME. MY DAD BROUGHT US HERE. I LITERALLY CRAWLED ON THIS COURT OF THREE MONTHS OLD.

ZAC PACLEB: COLTER GREW UP IN PHOENIX AND HE AND HIS FATHER ANDREW WERE STAPLES AT HARMON PARK PICKUP GAPES AND THEY WERE THE BEST IN PHOENIX.

STEVE COLTER: THIS WAS THE SPOT BUT YOU HAD TO BE AWARE IT WAS ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE. YOU WOULD GET KNOCKED DOWN AND PROBABLY LEFT BLOODY AND BRUISED BUT YOU WERE BETTER WHEN YOU LEFT HERE THAN WHEN YOU CAME.

ZAC PACLEB: HE SAID THE PHYSICAL PLAY PREPARED HIM FOR HIS EIGHT SEASONS IN THE NBA. HE IS A RECREATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR THE PHOENIX PARK AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT OVERSEES THE PARK. FOR KIDS IN THE COMMUNITY, HARMON PARK IS THEIR FAVORITE PLACE TO GO SOCIALIZE AND PLAY BASKETBALL.

OSCAR DEVORA: I HAVE FRIENDS OVER THERE THAT DO NOT COME TO THIS SCHOOL. I PLAY WITH THEM, I PLAY WITH HOLDER KIDS THAT TEACH ME HOW TO PLAY BASKETBALL AND I JUST HANG OUT WITH MY FRIENDS.

TYSON KELLY: IT REALLY GIVES OUR KIDS A SAFE PLACE TO LEARN AND CONTINUE TO GROW. AT SCHOOL WE FOCUS ON ACADEMICS. WE DO HAVE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS AND AFTER-SCHOOL SPORTING EVENTS BUT SOMETIMES THE KIDS, LIKE, YOU KNOW, JUST TO GO TO A MORE RELAXED AREA WITH DIFFERENT SCENES.

ZAC PACLEB: TYSON KELLY THE PRINCIPAL AT A NEARBY SCHOOL AND SAID HAVING A PLACE LIKE HARMON PARK IS CRUCIAL TO DEVELOPMENT, BOTH ATHLETICALLY AND ACADEMICALLY.

TYSON KELLY: HE KNOWS ALMOST EVERY KID BAY NAME AND COMMUNICATES ABOUT ACADEMICS AND WHAT IS GOING ON AT THE PARK. IT HAS BEEN A GREAT RELATIONSHIP. THEY BELIEVE PLACES LIKE HARMON PARK ARE CRITICAL TO THE COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE.

STEVE COLTER: THE VALUE OF THIS PARK AND COMMUNITY BEING HERE IS THAT YOU WILL RUN INTO PEOPLE THAT WILL SURPRISE YOU EVERY DAY WITH WHAT THEY KNOW AND HOW THEY CAN HELP AND THEN HOW THEY ARE WILLING TO HELP.

TYSON KELLY: IT IS MUCH MORE THAN IN THE GYM. THE GYM IS THE CORNERSTONE OF THE ACTIVITY IN THE AREA. BUT OUR KIDS ALSO, THE OUTSIDE COURT, THE FIELDS AND THE LIBRARY ARE VERY POPULAR WITH KIDS AND NEEDED FOR THE COMMUNITY.

ZAC PACLEB: WITH ARIZONA HOSTING THE 2017 FINAL FOUR, THE NCAA SELECTED HARMON PARK FOR THEIR LEGACY REGISTRATION PARK. THERE ARE SEVERAL UPGRADES INCLUDING A NEW OUTDOOR COURT AND WEIGHT ROOM AND THE PARK CAN CONTINUE TO PROVIDE A SAFE PLACE TO GO AND A PLACE TO BE ACTIVE. JUST PLAYING OUTSIDE YOU CAN GET BETTER THAN JUST STAYING INSIDE PLAYING VIDEO GAMES.
AND COLTER WILL CONTINUE TO USE THE PARK TO INFLUENCE AS MANY YOUNG LIVES AS HE CAN.

STEVE COLTER: I HAVE 5-6,000 BROTHERS AND SISTERS THAT ARE NOT BIOLOGICAL BUT THEY CAME THROUGH THE DOORS AND PARTED WISDOM INTO THE MY LIFE. THEY CAME TO SIT AND TALK TO MY DAD.

ZAC PACLEB: HE EMPHASIZES HE IS READY TO GIVE A BASKETBALL LESSON OR TWO AT THE SAME COURT HE GAINED SO MUCH FROM WHEN HE WAS THEIR AGE.

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