Koblerville basketball court freshened anew

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Rev. Fr. Isaac Ayuyu offers a prayer and blesses the newly renovated Koblerville basketball court during the court’s grand unveiling on Monday. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The Koblervillle basketball court was spruced up again and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held Monday to turn over the responsibility of its upkeep to the Division of Parks and Recreation.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog turned the court over to Parks and Recreation director Eli Cabrera, who said the basketball court has been renovated quite a few times in the past couple of years.

Cabrera said that all he asks for is for those who use the court to take care of it.

“I just hope that our community understands the importance of the area and maintaining, and keeping it usable,” said Cabrera.

His biggest concern is the several instances of vandalism. This time around, Cabrera hopes that the court will remain usable for a longer period of time.

“If we come back in one month, hopefully the rims are still there and the nets of the basketball rims, and I hope there is no graffiti,” said Cabrera. “Our people should report any wrongdoing, please report it to the proper authorities.”

According to Cabrera, the efforts made to maintain the court is pointless if those who use it don’t maintain it as well.

“It’s useless for us to keep maintaining, when on the other side, there is vandalism going on,” said Cabrera.

The proposal to renovate the basketball court again was led by Rep. Joseph Lee Pan Guerrero (R-Saipan) in the middle of last year, in the wake of a plea of a constituent. Upon visiting it, Guerrero said he was disheartened to see the state of the area.

“When I came out here, it was littered with syringes and ziplock bags. They used it [basketball court] as a drug facility,” he said.

Instead of seeking government funding to initiate the renovations, Guerrero decided it was best to reach out to community investors because, according to him, it could take a year just to obtain government appropriation.

According to Guerrero, the companies he reached out to are advocates of giving back to the community such as IT&E, IP&E, and E-Land Group. After three months, the companies informed him that they were interested in supporting the cause.

The improved court includes new nets, new rims, a new paint job, new bleachers, and a new fence.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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