Portsmouth basketball court renovation project sees Chichester schoolboy undertake 10,000 crossover challenge

A BUDDING basketball star is undertaking a month-long dribbling challenge to help transform a Portsmouth basketball court – and he needs help to reach his target.

By Richard Lemmer
Sunday, 9th May 2021, 4:48 pm

The court in Orchard Park off Goldsmith Avenue has seen better days, with torn netting hanging from the hoops and a fresh lick of paint needed for the facilities.

Local basketball coaches, artists, and community activists have banded together with the aim of transforming the court, with an ambitious £60,000 fundraising target.

Now they have help from a an eight-year-old b-ball fan, who is taking on a month-long challenge to raise more than £500 for the project.

Zach Robinson Picture: Sam Stephenson

Chichester schoolboy Zach Robinson is halfway to completing 10,000 crossovers – a defensive manouevre where the ball is changed from hand to hand – by the end of the month.

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A renovated court could attract budding young basketball stars from miles around, according to Zach’s dad Gary, who said there is a lack of good sized courts across the region.

He said: ‘We have tried to find different basketball courts, but there aren’t that many. Often they are built with a football goals inside, and when you turn up its full of people playing football.

Zach Robinson Picture: Sam Stephenson

‘This court is a really good size. The one near where we live is much smaller. It’s great to have one of this size – it just needs some TLC.’

Zach said getting up every morning to complete 500 crossovers before school was ‘quite tiring’, but it will be worth it to see the court upgraded, with plans for a large mural across the court’s floor.

The member of Portsmouth Basketball Club said: ‘Hopefully the court will look good – I’m looking forward to it being finished. I’d like to see it painted in really vibrant colours.

Zach Robinson Picture: Sam Stephenson

Zach is hoping to raise £500 after smashing his original target of just £300 by attracting more than £370 in donations.

The Orchard Park Regeneration Project hopes to rejuvenate the court to industry standards, decorate it with a unique large-scale artwork, and improve the surrounding landscape.

The first phase was originally to include a permanent building for equipment on the land adjoined to Byngs Auto, but the plans had to be adjusted when a blaze tore through the auto workshop at the end of last month.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Zach and his dad Gary Robinson Picture: Sam Stephenson

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