Sunday, September 25, 2022

Montreal was declared the basketball city where it is most popular, despite the lack of courts in the neighborhood. CBC News

Montreal has been declared a basketball city by its city council, and it is understandable that it has a team in the national league, thousands of fans in the NBA, and many domestic players.

However, three of those players came from the borough of Montreal-Nord, where community advocates have been lamenting the lack of public sports facilities for years.

Declaring Montreal as a basketball city is a good first step, but now it’s time to invest in the community and ensure the resources needed to develop local kids as athletes, says Sacha-Wilki Merazil, a community activist who specializes in basketball. facilities in Montreal-Nord.

“We lack sports facilities in MontrĂ©al-Nord, and especially in Montreal East,” Merazil said.

“We need money to build a sports center.”

Such a project has been under discussion for some time now, and still no concrete plan has been made at the municipal level.

Montreal-Nord residents promised earlier this year that the sports and entertainment center would be put on the back burner indefinitely was abandoned. city ​​budget,

A CBC data analysis from October 2021 Lack of access to sports and entertainment facilities was detected in low-income neighborhoods in Montreal.

Sacha-Wilki Merazil, a community activist pushing for developing basketball facilities in Montreal-Nord, says children in her neighborhood need sports facilities. (CBC)

Merazil said the east end neighborhood needed a master plan for the development of sports facilities, and that upper levels of government should support such projects.

“A lot of citizens in the East End Montreal feel really abandoned,” he said.

‘Let’s be proud’ of being a basketball city, says Plant

On Twitter on Monday, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said the city council unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing the importance of basketball in the city.

“More than ever, Montreal is seen as a basketball city, and that’s great news,” she said. “Let’s be proud of it!”

Basketball is growing in popularity around the world and Montreal is no exception, Mariquim Gaudrault, a spokesman for the mayor, explained in an email.

“Its accessibility and inclusivity make it the sport of choice and the city is proud to support a number of initiatives in this regard,” she said.

The purpose of the proposal was to highlight “the positive impact of the sport on the community and the vibrant projects that emerge from it”.

Montreal’s basketball history is ‘rich’

And those impacts have been felt internationally.

“We’ve always had great basketball players here in our city,” said Dwight Walton, a former member of the Canadian national team and basketball commentator. “Our history is rich.”

Former Canadian national team member and basketball commentator Dwight Walton says it is time for Montreal to be recognized for its impact on the sport. (CBC)

The time has come for Montreal to recognize local interest in basketball throughout the city, province, and rest of Canada. The game is booming with the success of the Toronto Raptors, and now the Montreal Alliance is playing Canadian elite basketball for the first time this season.

It was not a good season as the team finished last, but spectator attendance was one of the best in the league, with an average of around 3,000 fans per game.

“The atmosphere was fantastic,” Walton said of the team’s first season, with fans flocking to the show to watch the game in person or online.

Coming to Montreal is a cornerstone of support for an NBA team, Walton said, with tickets to professional games sold out within minutes. He said that now the time has come to make basketball a success in the city by bypassing politics.

“Basketball is on the rise and Montreal deserves an NBA franchise,” he said.



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