ST. LOUIS – It was all smiles Friday afternoon at Tower Grove Park as St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones helped cut the ribbon on the new basketball courts.  

“It sends a signal to our community that parks are welcome for everyone no matter how you choose to have fun,” said Jones.

The two basketball courts had been years in the making, part of Tower Grove Park’s 2017 Master plan. The courts were paid through a 2020 grant.  

“This is fantastic,” said Tower Grove Park Executive Director Bill Reininger. “This has been one of the top projects just because it was so heavily requested, and you can see how well it’s being used and appreciated.” 

About 70 kids and four area university basketball teams, including Harris Stowe State University and Washington University, were on hand for the fun. 

“I feel like basketball is something that can bring people together,” said Harris Stowe State University senior guard Anthony Bell.

Laura Porter lives in the neighborhood and is one of the residents that had been asking for basketball courts.  

“It feels like it was something that was missing in the park,” she said. “This feels like something (my kids) could grow into.” 

Reininger said he’s looking into offering organized basketball programs for area kids.