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Providence Journal: Where a bullet took a young man in 2012, a hoops court, freshly vivid, is dedicated to life

October 16, 2019


October 16, 2019

PROVIDENCE — As kids dribbled basketballs up and down the court at Harriet & Sayles Park in Lower South Providence on Wednesday afternoon, Jessie Polanco said she felt her brother, Omar, was watching over them.

“I think he’s smiling down on us right now,” Polanco said of her younger brother, who was killed in a shooting seven years ago at the age of 19. His murder remains unsolved.

On Wednesday, just feet from where Omar Polanco was found with a gunshot wound in 2012, kids played basketball on a newly painted court that was about to be dedicated in his honor.

“He’s giving back to the community even though he’s not here,” his sister said.

City officials and representatives from My HomeCourt, a Providence nonprofit that revitalizes city basketball courts, gathered at Harriet & Sayles Park to rename the basketball court the “Omar Polanco Basketball Court” and dedicate a mural painted across the court surface in his memory.