Brooklyn Nets Reveal Renovations to Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Park
Nets hold ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil refurbished basketball courts
BROOKLYN – Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. died tragically 23 years ago. The Brooklyn Nets want to make sure his memory and legacy continues to live on for decades to come.
The Nets unveiled their renovations to Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. park on Friday, completing a $324,000 project to refurbish the basketball courts that were dedicated to the former-Gowanus Houses resident, who was fatally shot by a New York City Housing Authority police officer in his building in 1994.
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark, Nets general manager Sean Marks, head coach Kenny Atkinson and players D’Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen were all in attendance for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the park.
Nets and @NYCParks came together today to celebrate the memory of local resident with new basketball courts in Boerum Hill Park.@DeMarreCarroll1, @_bigjayy_, @Dloading, and @CarisLeVert all made an appearance! pic.twitter.com/EtAWmdgVZc— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 1, 2017
The two new courts were completely repaved, painted and color sealed, and are now ADA-accessible. Fencing, benches, nets, hoops and backboards have all been replaced, and drinking fountains with bottle-fillers have been installed. This is the first major renovation to these courts in over 25 years.
Local resident Eugenio Vasquez, who plays at the park regularly, was stunned when he saw the changes to the park. “Man it looks way better, it looks like they [the Nets] took time on it,” he said. “They even replaced the water fountain, which was like 30 years old.”
LeVert was particularly impressed by quality of the renovations at the park. “It looks like an indoor court,” the second-year player said. After a tribute to the Heyward Jr and park by politicians, Yormark and Heyward Jr.’s father, the Nets players put on a clinic for some local children.
Thank you Brooklyn for coming out to celebrate the memory of local resident with new basketball courts in Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Park. pic.twitter.com/esETUMt6s5— DeMarre Carroll (@DeMarreCarroll1) December 1, 2017
Carroll appreciated the tribute to Hayward Jr. and the work done by his team to get the park renovated.
“It has a lot of meaning to it. It’s very powerful,” Carroll said. “It’s also very powerful for the Brooklyn Nets organization to come out here and help something that has so much meaning.”