On Friday, May 20, 2022, Roanoke Parks and Recreation (PLAY Roanoke) will hold a dedication ceremony at Washington Park honoring the late Ricky Renell Wright. At 4 p.m., City dignitaries, Department staff, and friends and family of Wright will gather to celebrate the naming of the new basketball courts in his honor. Immediately after, a 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament will take place. These events are free to the community to participate in and attend, and they are part of the Star City Safe Initiative to offer expanded services and access to public facilities to keep our youth and neighborhoods safe through programming and engagement.
The Department finished converting these unused tennis courts to basketball courts in late 2021. Darnell Wood, a childhood friend of Wright and community advocate, heard about the repurposed courts and immediately asked that they be named for Wright. “Ricky became one of the best basketball players in all of Roanoke, and he grew up in Lincoln Terrace,” Wood commented. “He practiced his basketball skills on the old basketball courts in upper Washington Park.”
Wright, a Roanoke native and avid basketball player, was a star player at Patrick Henry High School and was named the Virginia All-State Player in 1978. He went on to play at the collegiate level while attending Winston-Salem State University.
Wood felt the ceremony should include people putting the courts to good use, so PLAY Roanoke will host a free 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament after the dedication. Registration is now open at www.playroanoke.com. Registration is limited to 12 teams and is on a first-come, first-served basis.
During the tournament, PLAY Roanoke will provide food and giveaways to all attendees, and Star City Safe partners will be on site with information and resources for the community. All are welcome to attend the ceremony and the tournament at no cost.
To learn more about the ceremony, please click here. To register a team for the basketball tournament, please click here. For all media inquiries, please contact Michael Clark, Director of Roanoke Parks and Recreation, at [email protected] or 540-853-1198.