NCAA helps fix up local gyms in AtlantaPosted: Updated:
To add to the Final Four experience, basketball courts have popped up all over Atlanta.
Some of them are temporary like the ones in Bracket Town, but others are here for good.
The NCAA helped build four basketball courts in the community and Sunday they teamed up with the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation for the final dedication at the Dunbar Center of Hope.
Residents in the area said before the transportation the gym was in rough shape.
"It was dark and dreary. It was smelly and all of that. The floor leaked and there was always water coming in from the door," said Sharon Collins.
But thanks to the NCAA and the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation, it got a face lift.
The foundation specializes in fixing up old gyms, in honor of Tyler Ugolyn, who lost his life on 9/11.
"It's something that our son would be doing if he were here today. For us it keeps our son's legacy alive," said Ugolyn's father, Victor.
For the NCAA it's a way of making sure the Final Four in Atlanta won't be forgotten.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said it's the perfect way to do it for both the NCAA and the city.
"Long after all the lights are gone, after the cheering is over, there's going to be hundreds of young people who will use this facility over the years to give them a place that is a safe haven," said Reed.
The safety of the gym is something residents said will be crucial.
"Our children have gone through so much tragedy in this community, so to have a safe place that's this gorgeous is amazing," said Collins.
Once the dedication ceremony was over, it didn't take long for the kids to test it out.
"It's good. I like the bronco in the middle of the court, the balls they have and how the goal is," said Kentez Williams.
"I think it's great. It was really messed up, but now it's pretty good," said Taylor Smith.
Residents in the area said they're determined to keep it that way, for the kids and in hopes it could spark something even bigger.
"It can bring people back to community. They can have tournaments at our gym so people can come see that this is a good community," said Dorothy Alexander.
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