STUDIO CITY : Basketball Hoops Stay Down at Center

Basketball players who were crushed when the city closed the basketball court at the Studio City Recreation Center have insisted they can police themselves.

At a community meeting last week attended by players, neighbors and a police officer, park officials said that the basketball backboards would remain hoop-less for an indefinite period, but left the door open for a compromise by which they could be reinstated.

Neighbors were shocked when, three weeks ago, one man pistol-whipped a basketball player near the court, causing the gun to fire. The bullet did not hit anyone at the park, which is used by many children. Park officials removed the hoops one week later.

At last week's meeting, some people suggested keeping the hoops off for six months to a year, but park administrators have not said when, or if, the hoops will come back.

Park director Jon Klay said he will meet with basketball players to see if they can come up with measures to alleviate neighbors' concerns about noise, foul language, fistfights and security. If successful, the talks could lead to the replacement of the hoops.

Some of the ideas tossed around at the meeting included restricting the court's hours of operation, requiring players to sign a code of conduct and posting rules at the court.

"(The basketball players') language was foul--it was a bad influence for the children," said Faye Buckner, who has an 8-year-old son who frequents the park. "We would just as soon (the hoops) stay down if it can't be in a supervised or monitored situation."

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