ORANGE, NJ — Orange Township Recreation Department Director Greg Tynes has arrived just in time to answer a burning question: why is the Central Playground basketball court painted bright blue?
If the city’s official sports colors are orange and black, the same as the Orange High School sports teams, then why is the court painted to look like the Boise State University football field?
“That’s a good question that has to be brought up to the city officials,” Sharief Williams, the Lincoln Avenue School sixth- and seventh-grade basketball coach, said Saturday, April 8, during the annual Elementary Schools Basketball Championship in the Orange Prep Academy gymnasium. “Our colors are orange and black in Orange, so I agree those colors would have been a good look for the basketball court.”
Across the street from Orange Prep Academy at the Easter Egg Hunt Extravaganza in Central Playground on Saturday, April 8, Cultural Affairs Coordinator Campanella Godfrey also didn’t know why the basketball court and tennis court are painted blue. Department of Public Works Supervisor Raymond Wingfield might have known the answer, but he remained mum.
“I don’t know,” said Godfrey on Saturday, April 8. “It’s something to do, I guess.”
Fire Director Kenneth Douglas and Capt. Jamie Anderson of the Orange Fire Department said they didn’t know why the basketball court is now painted blue and Recreation Department Supervisor Keith Pressey also said he wasn’t exactly sure why the basketball court is blue instead of orange and black, but Mayor Dwayne Warren said the new, bold color is a symbol of the new direction the recreation department is headed with Tynes’ leadership, as well as a metaphor for the eye-catching talent Orange youth regularly display on and off the court.
And while that might be the case, Tynes “kept it real” when he answered the question about the old basketball court’s new color scheme.
“I have no idea; that was done before I got here,” Tynes said Saturday, April 8. “Remember that I just started in January. But actually, I like it. It’s different. When you ride by, you see it; it pops out at you. When I was coming up, the court was green, so it kind of faded into everything; to the grass, the tennis courts. Right now, it pops at you. When you ride by, you’re going to notice that court, so I do like it.”
Tynes is a former standout basketball player at Orange High School during the 1970s who helped the team win a state championship before going on to star at nearby Seton Hall University in South Orange. Now that he’s “come home” to Orange from nearby West Orange to give back some of his championship experience and pedigree to up-and-coming Orange Recreation Department players, he still said the most important aspect of any basketball court is how the game is played on it, not its color.
“The court can be any color,” said Tynes. “What really matters is what’s going on when the players are on the court. As long as the baskets and the rims are 10 feet high and they’re in a square, that’s all that matters.”