Queens basketball court renovations unveiled in honor of 14-year-old Aamir Griffin

JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) -- A Queens basketball court where a 14-year old boy was fatally shot has been renovated and was unveiled Tuesday afternoon.

Aamir Griffin was killed by a stray bullet while playing basketball with friends at the Baisley Park Houses in Jamaica in October 2019.

He was a rising star who loved to play ball at the park and for the elite team at Cardozo High School.

His coach, family, and the entire community were left devastated and wondering if they'd ever bounce back.

"I started realizing what disarray the court was," Cardozo basketball Coach Ron Naclerio said. "It was terrible. It was like a gloomy court."

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But now, a year and a half later, it is amazing what a community can do.

NYPD Community Affairs Detective Tanya Duhaney secured an $18,000 grant, and residents of the housing project joined police in a cleanup effort like no other -- including new surfacing, new paint, and new hope.

"There's no words to express, I'm just so joyful," mom Shanequa Griffin said. "This is an amazing outcome."

But perhaps the day was most bittersweet for Aamir's best friend, Daja White, who was playing with him the day he was killed.

"I lost a best friend, a good person, too," he said. "I feel like we all lost a good person."

But what they gained, they say, could in fact be a prototype.

"Look at these young people, being with these officers on this safe court," Mayoral candidate Eric Adams said. "This is what we're missing."

No arrests have been made in Griffin's death, but police are hoping the park makeover will help curb gun violence.

"Cherish this court as Aamir's home," NYPD Community Affairs Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said. "To say, hey, no nonsense is ever going to happen on this court again.."

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