CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A series of unfortunate events for some Flour Bluff youth teams has led them to finally receive a new basketball court after losing theirs last month.
First, something -- or someone -- broke a large hole in the backboard of the basketball goal.
Then, the Navy asked them not to put up a new one, because their practice court was on Naval property in an Accident Potential Zone for nearby Waldron Field.
But now, donations from local families and a foundation company out of the Houston-area have provided a new court at a different location for three youth basketball teams in Flour Bluff.
“I’m very very excited," said Kristen O'Brien, the coach of the youth teams. "It’s like a dream come true almost, because we’ve wanted this for a long time."
She originally wanted the city to put up adjustable-height basketball goals in a park, so kids of all ages and from all over Flour Bluff could come play on them.
So far, that hasn't happened, so O'Brien is settling for the new court at her home.
"Unfortunately (a basketball court in a park) couldn’t happen," she said. "There’s no space for it. We looked. We looked into it. So, I mean, as far as the 20 or actually 30 kids that I coach here in The Bluff right now, this will just have to do.”
Workers from Excell Foundations poured a 46-feet by 20-feet concrete slab to serve as the court on Wednesday.
That project would normally have cost the O'Briens two to three thousand dollars, but the company owner's son says his father was eager to do the work for free once he heard about the situation.
"That ain’t never an issue with my dad as far as donating for the kids and everything like that," Bradley Chapin of Excell Foundations said. "(We're) just making sure especially they’ve got somewhere to play."
There's a basketball goal mounted to O'Brien's home's garage at one end of the court. She's hopeful that her husband will be able to put up a second goal — that donated money paid for — at the other end in time to host practices Thursday night.
O'Brien has her own children on each of the three teams she coaches, and their seasons are off to a good start.
"When my kids go out on the court, you can tell that they’ve been practicing — that they’ve been working hard," O'Brien said. "Because they know how to play basketball already at like five and six-years-old."
Her oldest son was quick to express his gratitude to the workers who were building the court, and O'Brien did too — along with those who made donations to make it possible.
“I’m just really happy that they’re coming out here, and they’re going to do this for us," 11-year-old Patrick O'Brien said. "I’m going to thank them a lot before they leave.”
“I would like to thank Excell Foundation for the slab," Kristen O'Brien said. "Obviously that was a big contribution. And then The Danley Family, and then The Bourland Family, and then an anonymous donor who donated money towards the goal. I would like to thank them for all their help so we can get this done.”