Skip to main content

The new face of a North End basketball court

A North End basketball court has received a vibrant facelift thanks to a national non-profit organization and Winnipeg's new professional basketball team.

The outdoor court at St. John's Park in Winnipeg has received new backboards, nets, and a resurfacing of the asphalt hardtop. The court has also been beautifully painted by a local Indigenous artist.

The project was initiated by Buckets & Borders, a charitable organization founded in Saskatchewan. CEO Justin Lee said its part of a national partnership with Canada Basketball.

"We have a partnership with the initiative to build basketball courts and tell basketball stories across the country, so this project really wouldn’t be possible without Canada Basketball," Lee said.

Lee says Buckets & Borders uses the sport of basketball as a means to improve communities and bring people together. He said local leaders in Winnipeg's basketball community urged them to restore the St. John's court.

"We really just thought it was the perfect fit for our mandate, and we're really happy that we came here," said Lee.

Indigenous artist Jordan Stranger was commissioned to design and paint the court surface.

"They had a call for submissions for the St. John's court design, and I whipped something up and ended up getting it," Stranger said.

Stranger said the project had more meaning for him because he's from the area. "I grew up here, spent a lot of time here," he said. "I thought it was important to spread that message of love which I always try to spread with my artwork."

Jason Smith, president of the Winnipeg Sea Bears, said the team has been wanting to partner in community events since they began playing professional basketball in Winnipeg this past spring.

"It’s a huge thing for this community, and I think for Winnipeg in general, to start refurbishing some of these inner city courts," said Smith.

He said Buckets & Borders did most of the work. "We have played a very small role in this, all the credit really goes to them. But we're thrilled either way to be involved," Smith said.

The Sea Bears have agreed to clean the court in the spring and replace the mesh as needed. The team will also be running community basketball camps at the St. John's court next spring. Top Stories

Stay Connected