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Harrisburg basketball courts get new name, $13K makeover with help from Harlem Globetrotter

The basketball courts at Reservoir Park in Harrisburg got a $13,000 makeover and a new name thanks to a fundraising effort led by Harlem Globetrotter Chris “Handles” Franklin.

Franklin, who grew up in the city, returned on Friday to dedicate the newly renovated basketball courts with city officials, including Mayor Eric Papenfuse and Public Works Director Aaron Johnson. The courts were resurfaced and have new poles, backboards, rims, fencing and a mural of longtime youth sports Coach Des Mangus.

The renovation was “a group effort between the city, community and the Chris ‘Handles’ Franklin Foundation,” Franklin said.

“Quite often we honor our heroes after they are gone,” Franklin said, according to a news release.  “So it is with great pleasure that we are able to honor Coach Des while he is still active in the community working with our area youth.”

The renovated courts at Reservoir Park feature a mural of Coach Mangus. 

Coach Mangus is currently the head softball coach at Harrisburg High School. He previously coached the football, baseball, basketball and track teams. He’s also an instructional aide for the school district.

The rededication ceremony at Reservoir Park drew a large crowd to honor the well-liked coach, Johnson said.

“He’s a very popular in the community,” Johnson said. “A great guy, outstanding individual.”

The effort at Reservoir Park represented the second court renovation project in the city involving Franklin. He also worked with several community groups last year to raise $16,000 to fix up the basketball courts at the city park at Fourth and Emerald streets.

Those courts were named in honor of Coach Gregory Campbell, who worked at the Camp Curtin YMCA and dedicated his life to helping youths. Campbell died in 2012. A mural of Campbell was featured among the improvements at the park.

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