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Foul! Manhattan Beach hoopsters forced to play on cracked court

No game: The Ditchek boys, Brandon, Ronny, and Sammy, would love to play basketball at the court near Mac Kenzie Street in Manhattan Park — too bad there’s no hoop.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Manhattan Beach basketball lovers are crying foul over the city’s inability to repair two neighborhood courts — even though $500,000 is available for the fix.

Councilman Michael Nelson allocated the funds to mend the cracks and fissures lining the park’s buckling and fractured basketball courts more than a year ago, but community members say Borough Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey hasn’t lifted a finger towards hiring the contractors needed to do the work.

“Councilman Nelson was made aware of the deplorable conditions of the park and he got the money to fix it, but we don’t know what the parks commissioner is doing. He hasn’t assigned anyone the contract and I don’t know if that money is still in play,” said Allen Ditchek, vice president of Community Board 15, who said the parks commissioner would be the one doling out permits. “He was supposedly taking bids a year ago, but, so far, nothing has happened.”

A spokesman for Councilman Nelson admitted that the city is sitting on its laurels when it comes to fixing Manhattan Beach Park.

“It’s always that way,” Chaim Deutsch explained. “Hopefully they’re going to start the project soon.”

Meanwhile, parkgoers said the Manhattan Beach basketball courts remain in abysmal condition: the court near Falmouth Street is lined with health-hazardous cracks, which residents say can lead to bad spills and sprained ankles — and the basketball court near Mac Kenzie Street is completely shutdown, Ditchek said.

“They’re valuable resources at the park, which for many years people haven’t been able to take advantage of,” he explained.

Jeffrey did not return calls for comment. A Parks Department spokeswoman said that work on the basketball courts is expected to begin in the fall.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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