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White Plains Students Score New B-Ball Court To Cap 1st Week Of School

Allan Roberson, 19, shoots hoops on his school's new basketball court.
Allan Roberson, 19, shoots hoops on his school's new basketball court. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Rochambeau School Director Paul Pratcher cuts the ribbon on a new basketball court Friday.
Rochambeau School Director Paul Pratcher cuts the ribbon on a new basketball court Friday. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
About 120 Rochambeau high school students attended a ribbon cutting for the new basketball court.
About 120 Rochambeau high school students attended a ribbon cutting for the new basketball court. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Carlos Pena takes a shot on his old school's new basketball court.
Carlos Pena takes a shot on his old school's new basketball court. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Rochambeau School has added a basketball court to its existing tennis courts and students and staff said it got more use Friday for the ribbon cutting than it had in entire weeks in the past.

Allan Roberson made good use of the two new basketball hoops practicing his shot from three-point range.

“We have courts inside the school building, but we have low ceilings so you can’t really shoot well,” he said.

There were three tennis courts, which Rochambeau Director Paul Pratcher said went underutilized. They decided to remove one court and install the basketball court.

“I didn’t want to get rid of all the tennis courts, but I felt as a community this is something that we could make more use of,” he said. “That was missing. And now even after school we see kids playing.”

Recent Rochambeau graduate Carlos Pena said he did use the tennis courts when he was in high school, but mostly to run drills to increase his cardio in preparation for football season. He may not have benefited from the new basketball court, but is happy for those students who will.

“I think it’s much better for everybody to get outside and get some fresh air and play basketball,” he said. “We didn’t have that last year and now I feel like it’s better for the younger generation to come in and play basketball outside.”

Rochambeau Freshman Keith Wood is one of those students who will benefit and he said he plans to make good use of the court.

“A tennis court is two people, maybe four. Whereas with a basketball court you can get 10 kids in the same amount of space as you normally would with two or four. It’s a better use of space,” said Eliseo Lugo, social studies teacher at Rochambeau.

Lugo manned the dunk tank, and was more than willing to take the plunge on a humid day. He antagonized those throwing the ball, as any good dunk tank recipient would do. That is, until Tim Giambalvo, special education teacher, sent Lugo for a ride.

Across the middle tennis court, Elijah Scott, 17, took on a friend in the bunge run. He said the basketball court is a welcome addition.

"It's a good way to end the first week of school," he said.

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