Tennis League Renovates Courts in Bed-Stuy's Marcy Houses

By Paul DeBenedetto on June 18, 2014 8:43am 

 The Marcy Playground tennis court before renovation (left) and after.
The Marcy Playground tennis court before renovation (left) and after.
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Facebook/Kings County Tennis League

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Organizers of a Brooklyn youth tennis league raised more than $20,000 to renovate a court outside a Bed-Stuy public housing development.

The Kings County Tennis League, which meets every weekend in four different developments around the neighborhood, spruced up a court inside Marcy Playground on Myrtle Avenue between Nostrand and Marcy avenues, patching up cracks, power-washing the area and laying down a surface with new acrylic paint and lines.

The roughly $22,000 project was paid for with money that came from donations, fundraisers and a grant from the United States Tennis Association.

It gives more than 100 kids from Marcy Houses, Sumner Houses, Tompkins Houses, Lafayette Gardens and the surrounding community a brand-new place to play, founder Michael McCasland said.

"The entire community can use it," McCasland said. "Our mission is to use tennis as an instrument for mentorship and community building. And so this really fits into the second one."

Renovating the court was a longtime dream for McCasland and the nonprofit league, which offers tennis lessons and mentoring to more than 100 kids every year.

After raising all of the cash needed to fix up the court, the group reached out to the city's parks department, laid out its plan and got the approval needed to start renovations earlier this year.

"It's a nice way for us to thank the Parks Department for letting us do what we do," McCasland said. "And of course they were very appreciative."

The court, formerly a red clay color, now boasts a bright blue and green top coat similar to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the U.S. OpenLight blue lines inside the court also cordon off a smaller area for younger kids to play.

On game days, the league will also outfit the fences around the court with windscreens, McCasland said.

The group officially cuts the ribbon on the court this Saturday, but practices have already begun — and kids from the Marcy Tennis Club have already given their seal of approval, McCasland said.

"It's a beautiful, top-of-the-line tennis court right in their backyard that they can use," he said. "They were ecstatic."

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