HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico’s East End could score big! A new state of the art outdoor basketball complex could soon be coming to the county.

The project is being spearheaded by Henrico Board of Supervisor member Tyrone Nelson. Representing the Varina district, Nelson unveiled his plan on social media on Monday, creating a lot of excitement and buzz online.

The post read in part:
“One of the main requests I have heard is we need outdoor basketball courts. I hear you.”

Henrico Recreation and Parks, the developer behind the project, confirms to 8News that plans are to transform an open field near Fairfield Middle School into the outdoor basketball complex. The vacant land, that resides off of Nine Mile Road, currently has a few tennis courts and soccer goals.

Neil Luther, Director of Henrico Recreation and Parks, said the complex will feature four NBA size courts with special lighting and flooring.

“It’s a great need for the community so we’re just thrilled,” Luther said. “It will be colored courts with a hard epoxy finish, so it’s competition level high-quality outdoor courts. It’s not your traditional spraying lines down in a parking lot, it’s going to be a high-end competition court for the community.”

For Manny Harris basketball is more than just a game, it’s a way of life. He said basketball helped him grow as a man and open doors for his community.

Harris is the CEO of Black Top Kings and Queens Sports Academy, an inner city youth basketball program. He says he uses the game of basketball to mentor children in Central Virginia, teaching kids skills on and off the court.

“Basketball’s teaches these kids important things like life skills, relationships, principles, and morals,” Harris said.

Harris said hundreds of children have enrolled in his program over the years including those from Richmond, Hanover, Petersburg, Chesterfield and Henrico. One of those is 12-year-old Reginald Johnson, RJ, who is a basketball fanatic and player.

“I love it because I have passion for it,” Johnson said. “When I was little I didn’t take the whole thing serious, but when I met him (Harris) I started taking things serious.”

Johnson lives in Henrico’s east end and says he is a “monster” at basketball. He said he can’t wait for the new courts to become a reality.

“A new court is a lot of competition, so a lot of people are going to come,” Johnson said as he smiled. “I know it’s going to be awesome and fun to meet new people and to play with new people.”

Johnson hit the nail on the head. Nelson told 8News the goal of these courts is to bring generations together on the court and promote positivity, mentorship and a close-knit community.

The Henrico Board of Supervisors is expected to hear the proposal and possibly vote in February. If approved, the project will be complete next year.

Luther estimates the project to cost $500,000 and says the money will be coming from Nelson’s District Improvement Funds.

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