Group aims to protect OTR basketball court

Group aims to protect OTR basketball court

OVER THE RHINE, OH (FOX19) - Black Lives Matter Cincinnati held a basketball tournament Saturday afternoon hoping to drive home the message of what members are calling a gentrification issue in OTR.

The focus is the basketball courts at the corner of Main and Shiller streets.

The group says the purpose of "The Hoop on Main" event was to oppose gentrification and support equitable development. Members say that private developer NorthPointe Group wants to use the space to build single family homes. It's a space that  owned by the city.

"When we hear that as Black Lives Matter Cincinnati, we were so furious, so angry," says Black Lives Matter Cincinnati member  Mario Martone. "We got to do something to bring the word out in the community because nobody knows about it."

The concern hasn't fallen on deaf ears. Vice Mayor David Mann is well aware of the issue.

"The options are to require any developer to work around the courts or require developers to provide better courts in the immediate area and both options are being looked at," said Mann.

The hope here is that the courts will stay for generations to come.

"Everybody says we got to keep those courts. Those courts have been there for decades. I know older elder people, like three generations of people that have played and have grown up on those courts," said Martone.

Copyright 2016 WXIX. All rights reserved.