Kemble Park Basketball Courts Dedicated to Patrick Johnson

The courts will be known as the Patrick Johnson Courts at Kemble Park.

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Palmieri Dedicates Kemble Park Basketball Courts to Patrick Johnson


Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri was joined by friends of the late Patrick Johnson to dedicate the basketball courts in Kemble Park in Mr. Johnson’s name. Heretofore, the courts will be known as the Patrick Johnson Courts at Kemble Park.

Johnson, who lost his battle with cancer in October, was a beloved figure in the City of Utica and a lover of basketball. He founded the Hoops and Dreams Basketball Tournament in 2002, and for 20 years, it has been one of the most popular and impactful events in Utica. Hoops and Dreams is intended to use basketball to teach life’s lessons to Utica youth. The goals of the program include raising awareness on how to reduce violence in the City of Utica.

Hoops and Dreams was one of many of Johnson’s contributions to the city. He founded the Street Team, hosted racial justice workshops, founded Save our Streets and was a Community Liaison. Most importantly, he was a loyal friend and an impactful role model to those that knew him.

Kemble Park was the sight of what proved to be Mr. Johnson’s last Hoops and Dreams tournament.  This year, the park added a new basketball mural, picnic tables and grills to better accommodate events like Hoops and Dreams.

Kemble Park itself is built on the site of a former elementary school and was substantially rehabilitated recently. In the spring, more additions and renovations to the park are slated, thanks to Councilman Venice Ervin’s commitment of American Rescue Plan Act and Mayor Palmieri making the project a priority.

Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri said: "It’s important that Patrick Johnson’s name and legacy are a part of the court where he touched so many people. As we remember Patrick, we remember his deeds and his message and we hope those are things that will be emulated for years to come. His contribution can never be matched, his wisdom will forever be missed, but his name will be part of these courts for as long as they exist."