Basketball Rims Got Removed from Outdoor Courts

Man and two daughters look upset as the basketball hoops are missing the rims
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Dad and two daughter look distraught with rims missing from basketball court

In spring of 2020, as soon as it became mildly warm and dry enough outside to leave the comfy stir-crazy confines of our house, my two daughters and I bravely headed outside for some exercise and fresh air. We grabbed a couple of outdoor basketballs and headed up the road to one of the elementary schools in our city with the largest outdoor basketball courts. It was a nice day, mid 50’s if I recall, and we were excited to be getting out of the house together to get some exercise and maybe play a little H-O-R-S-E, or Around the World.

When we showed up to the school, we parked and made our way around the back of the school where the playground and basketball courts were located. As we walked around the corner, we were greeted with police-style Do Not Cross yellow tape wrapping its way all over the playground. Up the ladders, down the slides, and around the merry-go-round. This was a bad omen.

As we walked to the court, dribbling, and chatting, we noticed the courts were completely empty. This was unusual as the courts usually had a half-dozen or more kids shooting on the two full courts with four baskets. This was great, we were going to have the courts all to ourselves! And then, we saw. The school district, in their infinite wisdom, decided that the best way to stop the spread of this disease was to…remove the basketball rims.

They had tasked someone in the maintenance team to go out to the playgrounds and unfasten the rim and net from the backboard, leaving four square as the only available activity on the playground. I think that if they had more time or thought it out more, they would have painted over the four square courts, too.

We just wanted to get outside, get some exercise, and return to what was a normal activity. Instead, we turned around and headed back to the car. We drove to the other two schools in the district and a couple other city owned parks. All had one thing in common: the basketball rims were no longer attached to the rims. Dejected, we returned home, and back to our hibernation cave.

Well done, school district and city leaders.

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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