BU basketball court floor travels from Boston to Jamaica
By Eli Forrester
In June of 2005, after 30 years of loyal service, the wooden basketball floor at Boston University’s Walter Brown arena was retired and removed. Despite numerous attempts to donate it, the floor sat in a dark warehouse for nearly five years with no future in sight. Then, in 2008, BU was chosen to be part of a movie set, and the warehouse with the old floor needed to be cleared out to make room for storage.
When the folks at the Institutional Recycling Network (IRN) learned that the floor was up for the taking, they called non-profit group Food for the Poor who jumped at the offer. The floor was packed up and shipped to Jamaica, where it made its way to a school 40 miles south of Kingston, in a rural town called Sandy Bay.
Hopefully the school in Jamaica is still telling the historic stories of famous people who started their ball career on that very same court, like coaches Rick Pitino, Mike Krzyzewski, John Kuester, and Jim Calhoun, and players such as Reggie Lewis, Christian Laettner, and Grant Hill.
Since 2007, Boston University has partnered with the IRN in finding new homes for BU’s surplus property in the US and internationally, which aids low income communities and those addressing disaster and poverty relief. Last year, more than 140 tons of BU’s surplus was distributed through IRN.