Celebrations were in order Monday, as a newly renovated House of Hoops was unveiled in Albany.
Jamil Hood, who spearheaded the project, said renovating the space took a lot of effort.
“When you go and ask for help for a can of paint, it’s difficult,” Hood said. “You go out and ask for backboards or nets it’s difficult.”
But it’s a necessity for the area.
“This building here pumped a whole new life support into this community,” Hood said.
He says there’s a direct correlation in higher crime rates and areas that lack community resources and engagement.
He says this updated recreation center can be the first step to changing that.
The facility houses more than just hoops. There are reading programs, youth services and senior activities.
“One main goal is to bridge the gap with law-enforcement and the community members because it’s so strained,” Hood said.
Hood notes there’s more to be done before fully opening. Ceiling repairs and the installation of new air conditioning units will come next.
“We want to get our bleachers done over and a new security system,” Hood said.
For now, because of the pandemic and other repairs he’s only holding a small basketball training camp for no more than 10 people. He expects the building to be fully open in about two months.