Watch Out Over That Acorn!

Dribble! Dribble! Swish! Basketball is known as a physical sport in New York City and there is a basketball court almost in every single park, but many people don’t know how dangerous it could be when the fall season comes. Acorns dropping, autumn leaves falling, and branches being torn apart from trees are what makes the basketball courts dangerous. This is a huge problem because these little things can lead basketball players to injury. Can anything be done about this?

It’s important to be safe when it come to New York City parks and basketball courts. The parks department does a good job keeping garbage and recyclables off the basketball courts. Acorns, autumn leaves, and branches all over the basketball courts can make a basketball player fearful of even playing basketball. Not just basketball players, but little kids that come to run around and to have fun with their friends also are prone to getting hurt.

The construction of College Point Park began in 1988 on the former site of P.S.27. P.S.27 was a school destroyed by a fire in 1977. Leaf linden trees, northern red oaks, calleryn pears, and red maples are the types of trees that surround the park, according to NYC parks. About a month ago, an injury happened where a basketball player, Lewis Zuniga, a 17-year-old local basketball player, rolled his ankle on an acorn and he feels strongly that something has to be done about this. The point of the parks department is to clean the parks to make them safer for kids to play, so injuries like that won’t happen.

“Well, first, thank you for hearing me out on this topic that I feel really should be dealt with especially since it does involve the youth and possible injuries that could harm them in the future,” said Lewis Zuniga. “I say this because it has happened to me a couple times and I was gradually able to escape without any serious damage besides a sprained ankle. It was during a five on five full court game. The defense was pressing in, crossed a man over, and as I ran towards my left, there was a branch I hadn’t seen and my foot got stuck on it and my ankle twisted as my body went in another direction. I was unable to play for a span of 2 weeks until cleared by doctors. It could’ve been worse, but I feel we should attack it now before it becomes worse for someone else. After my injury, I started to clean off the courts when it had leaves, branches, acorns, or anything that shouldn’t be on a court because I was more cautious and wanted to prevent any other injuries from occurring.” Based on what he said, this is a big issue not only in College Point park, but parks all over New York City during the fall season.

Those who play basketball in parks have different opinions about playing on acorns or branches on the court and would like something to be done about this. It just depends on the individual’s personal preferences. Brandon Murray said, “I’ll just play around whatever is in the way. I wouldn’t really be focused on injuries at all.” On the other hand, Andy Rodriguez would move it out of the way himself. He would rather be cautious than be sorry if he does ever get injured.

All of the things that land on a basketball courts can be risks to a basketball player, which is something that the New York City Parks Department should take a look at.  The usual group of basketball players at College Point Park feels that the department focuses more on cutting bushes rather than a basketball player’s environment and surrounding. I tried contacting the New York City Parks Department and I haven’t gotten a response back from them, but hopefully, we’ll hear from them soon.

Written by Tommy Ovalle

Photo Credits to NYC Parks

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