Playing with the pros: Fans join Brooklyn Nets athletes for practice on B’Bridge Park courts

Most-valuable player: Adoring fans surrounded Nets star-guard Jeremy Lin when he hit the courts at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 2 on Saturday.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

It was nothin’ but Nets!

Players from hometown basketball team the Brooklyn Nets put on a show for hundreds of people in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday when they hit the meadow for a practice session followed by a block party. Fans traveled from near and far for a chance to see the ballers in a more relaxed setting, and one long-time devotee said his journey was well worth it.

“We had a good time,” said Marlo Williamson, who drove from New Jersey with his 9-year-old son Miles to attend the “Practice in the Park” event. “It was nice to see the players up close and interacting with us.”

Team members, including star point-guard Jeremy Lin, first took the waterfront courts at Pier 2 to do some drills and shoot around before inviting onlookers to play ball with them.

The spectators then joined those who did not get to see the training session, which required reserving tickets in advance, at an open-air party that boasted fan-favorite festivities including face-painting, temporary-tattoo applications, and haircuts.

Williamson — who said he’s been a Nets fan since 1984, when the squad played in New Jersey — never attended an open practice before, and said he was pumped to learn the athletes are kind, normal dudes.

“It was cool, they’re just like normal guys,” he said.

And park honchos cheered the event’s hosts, whom they encouraged to use the green space as an alternate practice site again down the line.

“We were thrilled to host the Brooklyn Nets at Pier 2 for their open practice and block party last Saturday. We look forward to working with the organization in the future on more great community events like this,” said Eric Landau, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Teamwork: Jason Heyward and Nets player Spencer Dinwiddie tried out some drills.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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