Fundraising push to add pickleball courts at Bullard, include lighting, fencing for basketball courts

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 June 2024 at 9:02 am

New basketball courts will host 3-on-3 tournament on Saturday

Photo by Tom Rivers: These two play a pickup game last month on the new basketball courts at Bullard Park. The courts have been busy since they opened last October.

ALBION – The new basketball courts at Bullard Park will host a 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament on Saturday during the Strawberry Festival.

There will be trophies for winning teams, and T-shirts for all participants. The cost is $20 per player, and the tourney is open to boys and girls ages 9 to 18. The deadline to register is 10 p.m. on Friday. Click here for more information or email Susan Oschmann, tournament organizer, at

This is the first tournament on the new courts, which opened last October. Last year the tourney was held during the festival on a closed off section of Main Street, between Bank Street and Beaver Alley.

The tournament is part of a fundraising push for lighting and fencing for the new basketball courts, and also to add two pickleball courts. There currently is fencing on the south side facing East Avenue.

The basketball courts also were intended to be used for pickleball, with a portable net brought out. But the courts are consistently in demand for basketball, making it a challenge for pickleball players.

“The courts are always packed and hard to get on to play basketball let alone pickleball,” said Oschmann, who is chairwoman of the Bounce for Bullard effort.

The Greater Albion Community Recreation and Events, Inc., a non-profit organization, has received a grant to pay for the pickleball posts and nets. The G-ACRE group is trying to raise about $45,000 for the lights, fencing, benches and pickleball courts. It has a GoFundMe for people to donate.

Once the Bullard courts are complete, Greater Albion Community Recreation and Events wants to work to install smaller quarter courts in the “pocket parks” in the village.

“We believe that having basketball facilities in these parks is vital for the well-being and recreation of our community members,” Oschmann said. “Both children and adults can benefit from the joy and camaraderie that playing basketball brings.”