Recording artist and Louisville native Bryson Tiller gave back to the city Wednesday, welcoming a renovated basketball court to Wyandotte Park in South Louisville.
Tiller partnered with Nike to renovate the Wyandotte’s three courts, chosen for renovation partly due to heavy use. Before signing autographs, Tiller welcomed residents to the new courts.
“I used to see this court and I’m like, ‘that court looks terrible, let’s try and do something to that court,'” Tiller said. “If anybody on this court right now got a dream, you believe in yourself, you can do it. You can do this, too.”
Wyandotte’s courts now have a rubberized surface and new goals with fiberglass backboards. Tiller’s signature adorns the bottom corner of those backboards.
Tiller struck fame in 2015 when his single “Don’t” swept the internet. He released his first album later that year. His second album “True To Self,” released this May, topped the Billboard 200 albums chart which ranks albums’ popularity by sales and number of people streaming.
Mayor Greg Fischer thanked Tiller and said the renovations give young people a place to stay away from street violence.
“It’s important that kids see a way to success. That’s got a common denominator, and that’s working hard at something,” Fischer said. “So when you’ve got a beautiful new basketball facility like this and they want to be off the streets, they want to be busy, good facilities help draw kids in.”
Rayshawn Roach lives two blocks away from the park. He praised the new courts — and called for a stop to Louisville’s surging violence.
“We need something out here for the summer for [kids] to do instead of all the violence,” Roach said. “We need to stop the violence. It’s just as simple as that.”
Fischer said Wyandotte’s renovation is one of many coming to Louisville parks’ basketball courts this summer. So far, he said, Louisville renovated courts parks in Shawnee and Algonquin parks.
Walter Munday, Louisville Metro Parks’ community outreach manager, said renovating parks can help communities.
“We know that the park is the lifeblood of a lot of neighborhoods,” Munday said. “We believe when we have the opportunity to improve a park, we believe that also has an opportunity to improve the neighborhood around it.”