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South End hoops court could be replaced in a snap

Louis Muniz, an avid basketball player, says the South End needs a better outdoor place to play, so he’s jumping through hoops to try to get a new modular court for South Whidbey Community Park.

“I feel it’s been something that’s been lacking in the community,” Muniz said Monday. “The courts around here aren’t really up to par. They’re all just kind of blacktop with hoops going into the ground.”

Muniz, of Freeland, who handles home mortgages for Wells Fargo Bank in Freeland and Clinton, is pushing hard for a new state-of-the-art low-maintenance basketball court for the Langley park off Maxwelton Road.

A member of the Rotary Club of South Whidbey, he’s trying to persuade the group to come up with more than $30,000 for the project, through a combination of fundraising and possible grants from Rotary International.

The South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District, which owns and operates Community Park, welcomes the suggestion.

“It would be a definite improvement, and really nice for the community to have,” said Parks Director Terri Arnold. “We would provide the space, but we wouldn’t be providing the resources.”

Muniz proposes a regulation 15-by-84-foot court on a 60-by-90 pad of polypropylene plastic with two regulation standards and glass backboards. The court’s sidelines and key areas would be striped, and would be surrounded by a retaining fence to keep balls from rolling away.

Muniz said the blue-and-coral court would come in snap-together components that would go over the existing asphalt court at the park. The court’s construction would make it portable, but Arnold said it would probably remain in the current location.

Muniz said the new court would have a 30-year warrantee, and would be easier on the feet, legs and knees of the players.

“It would be better than blacktop, I know that,” he said.

Parking would also remain available near the court.

Muniz said he will try to get the Rotary Club to adopt the court as a project in the next month or two, and that he hopes to raise the money in time to have the court installed in the spring of 2012.

“We could get started quickly, once the funds come through,” he said.

Arnold said the court would allow the parks district to conduct three-on-three tournaments and other official basketball events, and would provide a great place to play for dribblers young and old.

She said the existing court, installed in 1992, is used regularly during nice weather, but the proposed new court would be a big improvement.

Muniz plays basketball twice a week in over-35 sessions at South Whidbey High School, but says he’s always looking for an outdoor venue when the sun shines and the temperature climbs.

“It’s always a challenge when you want to play ball — there’s never anywhere enticing,” he said. “This would provide a place to get together.”

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