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New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

P.O. David Willis Basketball Court

Chelsea Park

 
 
P.O. David Willis Basketball Court Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2021
1. P.O. David Willis Basketball Court Marker
Inscription.  
This basketball court is dedicated in honor of Police Officer David Willis (1964-1995). Born in Brooklyn on September 10, 1964 and raised in the Farragut Houses, Willis attended All Saints School in Brooklyn and Beach Channel High School in Queens. He pursued his interest in oceanography at the University of New England and later at LaGuardia Community College. A member of the National Guard from 1982 to 1988, Willis completed his military service in Texas.

Willis graduated from the Police Academy in 1991, at which time he joined the NYPD 10th precinct on 20th Street in Chelsea. In patrolling Chelsea Park, he developed a good relationship with the adults and children who used the park. In his off-duty hours, Willis also frequented the basketball courts, where he enjoyed watching and playing with fellow officers and young people.

Officer Willis's life was tragically cut short when his police vehicle was hit by a truck on West 30th Street and 11th Avenue while he was responding to a report that shots had been fired on 28th Street. He died two days later, on September 25, 1995. On July 25, 1996, Mayor

P.O. David Willis Basketball Court Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2021
2. P.O. David Willis Basketball Court Marker - wide view
The marker is visible here to the left of the basketball court gate entrance.
Click or scan to see
this page online
Rudolph W. Giuliani requested that this basketball court be named for Willis.

Willis Basketball Court is located in Chelsea Park on West 28th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues. Since Parks first acquired the property in 1906, Chelsea Park has been an open space for sports and games. The first playground on the site opened in 1910 as a space for leisure and exercise for residents of the crowded tenement district. Competitions organized by the newly formed Board of Recreation drew thousands of spectators and participants.

After a major reconstruction project, Chelsea Park reopened in 1940 for year-round use with the addition of three basketball courts, three handball courts, softball diamonds with flood lighting, a horseshoe court as well as asphalt surfaces for rollerskating and hockey. The grounds of P. S. 33 were assigned to Parks in 1952, further expanding the park site. In the mid-1990s, the playground and basketball courts were restored. The park is one of the most popular and widely used in lower Manhattan.

 
Erected by NYC Parks.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Parks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical date for this entry is September 25, 1995.
 
Location. 40° 45.006′ N, 74° 0.017′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New

P.O. David Willis image. Click for full size.
via Officer Down Memorial Page, unknown
3. P.O. David Willis
York County. Marker is on West 28th Street near 9th Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chelsea Doughboy Statue (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Chelsea WW I Memorial (about 300 feet away); Church of the Holy Apostles (about 500 feet away); Hudson River Railroad (about 600 feet away); Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) (about 700 feet away); Lamartine Place Historic District (about 800 feet away); Charles Mary Kubricht (b. 1946) (approx. 0.2 miles away); Penn South Playground (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
<i>5b9k3q@Atg6!+2R%0</i> image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2021
4. 5b9k3q@Atg6!+2R%0
Although the caption above looks like something a cat would type when dancing upon the keyboard, that is actually the title of the mural that is the surface of the basketball court. Produced by Robert Otto Epstein in 2019.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 10, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 10, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   3. submitted on May 11, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   4. submitted on May 10, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.

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Jun. 13, 2021