Vote (if you’re eligible) for better courts

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A dream when I was younger was to have a house with a basketball court in the basement. A full-size court, with a knee-friendly synthetic surface. With backboards that dropped to dunk-friendly heights for an Earth-bound 5’9” guard. Throw in my vintage red, white and blue ABA ball, my knee-high tube socks and my Converse All-Stars … . Heaven, I’m in heaven …

At present, we have a portable rim in the cul-de-sac, my beloved Dr. J ball is MIA and my compression socks must suffice for my knee-highs.

All of which helps explain why I’m sympathetic to the plight of Durham’s Elvira Park and Charlotte’s Frazier Park, both of which are in the running for the Sprite Spark Parks Project. Nationwide, Sprite has identified 25 public basketball courts in need of repair. And these are courts desperately in need of repair. (You ever try to dribble on chipped chip & seal or experienced the frustration of arching a perfect buzzer-beating three-pointer to have it

... after.

clang off a broken rim?)

All of the courts will get some help. Sprite is donating $275,000 to repair all 25; how much each court gets depends upon how many votes they get from folks like you (but apparently not like me). They could get $5,000, they could get $15,000. New rims, resurfacing, benches, lights — all hang in the balance.

How to vote. Democracy is never simple and is often messy. First, you need to go to, where you can cast your ballot. But not, alas, before registering. Which I tried to do, but was told, “We’re sorry … you’re not eligible to join My Coke Rewards.” Interesting, because the only two questions asked are about age and whether you’re a U.S. resident. Very interesting … .

Anyway, if you can get through the registration process, enter the code SPRITEPARKSVOTE and vote for your park of choice. You can vote daily through May 31.

May the best park win.

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