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Florence Northwest Park's basketball courts get beautified
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Florence Northwest Park's basketball courts get beautified

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FLORENCE, S.C. — A community effort to canvas basketball courts at three Florence parks started in earnest Friday at Northwest Park with tape, chalk, creativity and determination.

“Like a big section of this court is green. We’ll have game control knobs there and this will be the power button. That’s going to be the coolest part, that this is going to be the power button here,” artist Ashley O. Davis, said of one of the courts.

The game controller is squarer and will have a lot of green.

The other court will have more detail to it and have an Africa theme to it.

Davis and Shelanda Deas started Friday morning with painter’s tape over the court markings to preserve them. That was followed with some chalk and then markings to indicate the color of the areas to be painted — a bit like a basketball-court-size paint-by-numbers set.

Once the courts were marked out Friday, volunteers on Saturday turned out to take care of business. The Florence Wildcats turned out about a dozen players and Florence Fire Department sent Station No. 2’s engine crew over to paint.

“That’s got a lot of detail in it, especially here. We probably won’t get to the details until Sunday,” Davis said of the Africa-theme court. “I counted, 22 lines on it.”

Davis said she and a couple of other experienced artists would likely do the detail work themselves Sunday.

The project, which will eventually canvas the courts at Iola Jones Park and Levy Park as well, is sponsored by the city of Florence, MINGLE of the Pee Dee and a host of community partners, Deas said.

“The city was really on board with this when we said we were going to do it,” Deas said.

Color choices will conform to the high schools to which the park players would attend, Deas said.

Northwest Park’s game controller will feature a lot of green and gold for West Florence, Dr. Iola Jones Park will feature a lot of purple and gold for Wilson and Levy Park will feature a lot of light blue and gold for South Florence, Deas said.

“We should be able to pull up the tape Saturday, though we may want to leave the tape down Saturday so nobody will play on the court,” Davis said. “Our biggest fear is they’ll come and play on the court and something will happen to the lines.”

Painting was to start at 6 a.m. Saturday and go on “until,” according to the plan. Same plan for Sunday.

The weather-tentative schedule calls for Dr. Iola Jones Park’s courts to be painted June 11-13 and Levy Park’s courts Sept. 24-26.

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