Four Groups Tip off Big Park Project

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(Memphis) For years Everett Murry and his friends have gathered at the Southside Park basketball court to shoot hoops.

"You're going to see a group of guys out here everyday hooping," he said.

But the basketball court has seen better days.

"Look at this basketball park," he said.  "We`ve been wanting a new basketball court for a long time.

Now they're getting a big assist from the Grizzlies. The cracked court will soon shine in Grizzlies blue and yellow.  It's one of the big changes coming to this South Memphis park.

"It`s a blessing for us," Murry said.

Wednesday representatives from TruGreen, the City of Memphis, The Works and the Memphis Grizzlies gathered to tip off a big renovation project.

The hope to give neighborhood kids and adults a safe place to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.

"We are going to have the same quality of exercise opportunities in this neighborhood as we have all over the city," Mayor A.C. Wharton said. "It stabilizes property values. It attracts investment because everybody knows this park isn`t going anywhere."

Parents said safe and attractive parks give kids a reason to get off the couch.

"Sometimes they don`t want to be at home watching TV," Walanda Houston said. "This gets them outside."

She's happy to see the Grizzlies are part of the effort.

"A lot of kids look up to them. They are role models for people. So that`s one of the things that`s really great about them donating their time and their money," Houston said.