PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A newly renovated basketball court in a Providence neighborhood was named after a man who was shot and killed nearby seven years ago.
Police believe 19-year-old Omar Polanco was caught in the crossfire of a feud between two groups of people.
In his memory, the basketball court at Harriet and Sayles Park was renovated and named “Omar Polanco Court.”
The project was made possible by “My Home Court,” a privately funded organization working to restore local basketball courts and transform them into places neighborhoods can be proud of.
“Our vision and mission were to renovate basketball courts in the Providence area,” Harold Starks of My Home Court said.
A mural covers the entire court with flowers and colorful designs. It even includes a nod to the man it’s named after.
“There’s a silhouette of Omar on the court, which is awesome,” Starks added. “Not a lot of people know that but it’s sort of like a tribute and a way to honor Omar and his memory.”
The court was painted by local artist Jordan Seaberry and another artist from New York. Seaberry said the project, to him, represents a community coming together to invest in a space that is often overlooked.
He hopes the court can now be a welcoming, safe and positive place for the community to gather, all while honoring Polanco’s memory.
“When families are dealing with the types of trauma that the Polanco family is, to have a city that is ready to dedicate space and time and love to that family, as an artist, to be able to plug into that, that’s all that matters,” Seaberry said.