For years the basketball courts at Acme Park have been serving as a place where kids and young adults can engage in recreational activities and get fresh air.
Ben Ynostrosa, 16, has been coming to Acme Park to play basketball for over five years. “To me this is a safe place where you can come and show your skill set,” he said.
The 2.8-acre park features a picnic area, a playground, a small pavilion, and a .17 mile walking trail, however the big attraction at the park are the two open-air basketball courts, including a covered court named in honor of regional African American educator Thelma Jackson.
Mikayla Reyes, 18, is one of the few women who plays basketball at Acme Park. “I used to live around this area but I moved a while back. I now drive 40 minutes to come play here because the people make you feel welcome,” she said.
This confirms the impact the basketball courts have on the community.
Acme Park is located on the Westside of San Antonio, across the street from E.T Wrenn Junior High and two low-income based apartments. According to the website, the 78237 zip code has a higher than average crime rate.
This is why the basketball courts at Acme Park are an important part of the neighborhood. They offer children and young adults a safe place to gather outdoors. To engage in healthy recreational activities instead of choosing a negative alternative.
Sara Stewart, 18, is another woman who plays basketball at Acme Park. “I’ve been coming here for a while now. I like it because as a girl it’s hard to find places where guys welcome you to play,” she said. “And here they just let you play. It’s about the game.”
After 5 p.m., one can drive past the park and see the courts filled with people. From active basketball participants, to spectators on the bleachers cheering them on. The ambiance of the games are contagious and makes you want to take a seat in a shaded area to enjoy the game. Even past dark the courts are well lit and people can be seen playing until the park’s closing time.
“I’ve lived here my whole life and see kids using these courts everyday. It’s good, so they can stay out of trouble,” local resident, Carlos Rodriguez said. “It’s like a gateway to make friends and we need more areas like this.”
The basketball games played at Acme Park represent more than physical activity. They stand for community and the need for continued progress in areas like the West Side. It’s important to consider the space children and young adults have accessible to them as many are influenced by their environment.
For now, the park continues to be a place where all players, male or female, beginner or expert, are welcome to join a basketball match. Acme Park is located on 534 S Acme Rd. For more information you can call (210) 207-7275.