• Caroline Glattly

T9 Hits the Courts for No-Contact Basketball

After several months of social distancing and isolation, community members are finally finding relief in activities that are now allowed under Phase 1 of reopening.


Parks and playgrounds that have stood empty since March are now occupied by basketball players, runners, and cyclists who have waited eagerly for this sense of normalcy for months.


Thrive 9th Ward is among those who are excited about opportunities to come together once again.


For many, Thrive 9 is more than just a community center, but a space the Desire/Florida neighborhood can come together. The community center regularly makes its space available for summer camps, workshops, basketball, workplace development programs and so much more.


And now, as city and state officials offer guidance for community spaces to reopen, Thrive 9 is working on a way to support its community by creating a safe space for people to shoot some hoops, blow off steam, and feel a sense of unity after months of isolation.


Rather than offering traditional basketball games, Thrive 9 is getting creative while applying social distancing protocol to create a safe, “no-contact” activity that can still allow community members to come together and find support during these difficult times. Instead of playing in teams, T9 is hosting basketball drills and shooting games, like “Around the World”. This will allow players to shoot one at a time, with their own ball that will be carefully sanitized after use.


“We’ve definitely felt the pressure to create a safe space for our community members to have their basketball time”, says Thrive 9 Director, Oscar Brown. “After testing out what works best, we can definitely say it was a success!”



While staff and players alike are learning and adjusting each day to make games safer and more fun, T9 is excited to be able to take the first step in bringing the community together in this small but meaningful way


“Even though we have to keep the groups small, everyone is really excited to be back together again, doing what they love,” says Oscar.

As phases 1 and 2 of the city’s reopening progress, T9 hopes to begin hosting no-contact basketball for the public, with sign-ups available by age and time.


As the city begins to reopen for certain activities, it’s more important than to find safe ways to support each other, and Thrive is committed to providing safe spaces to enrich and strengthen our community!


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