The Recreation Center’s bayside basketball courts will be rebuilt thanks to money donated to the City of Long Beach by hometown celebrity Billy Crystal and basketball star Nancy Lieberman.
The City Council on Oct. 1 approved a $83,519 contract with Connor Sport Court International of Utah to rebuild the bayside courts behind the Long Beach Ice Arena. The work is expected to begin soon and be completed within two months, according to Newsday.
With money generated mostly from a fundraiser he and other celebrities backed, Crystal, who grew up in a home on East Park Avenue, donated $1 million to the city for its recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy, a portion of which the city will use to rebuild the basketball courts. Lieberman, a Far Rockaway native who played for the U.S. women's national team and in the WNBA, said in a statement that she and Crystal made the donation to help the city "recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy,” Newsday reports.Said City Council Scott Mandel about rebuilding the courts: "It's something for the community and something for the children.”
Earlier this year, Crystal and his wife, Janice, assisted with replacing books at Long Beach Middle School.
In February, Target awarded the Long Beach School District's Hurricane Sandy recovery program a $25,000 grant, after Middle School teacher Faithe Ferrante facilitated the application for the grant with support from the famed actor and Long Beach alumnus.
"Janice and I have replaced the library at the middle school, we got other people to get involved, and the Target Corporation gave a significant amount of money to help rebuild the library there and restock the books,” Crystal said.
Follow Long Beach Patch on Facebook.