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Calling for a full-court press: the basketball and racquetball courts at Pagano Gym have once again reopened.

Gaylene Wilson, recreation division chief, said the courts were closed twice due to COVID, once when the virus first shut everything down, and again when its Delta variant caused an upsurge in cases.

“We had to eliminate the close-contact activities,” she said.

But now that COVID numbers are on the decline, those measures have eased up, Wilson said, so as of Nov. 1, let the games begin.

Prior to the courts’ closures, Wilson said the courts at the gym were the site of regular pickup games among patrons of all ages and backgrounds.

Any given morning, you could find 15 to 20 people shooting hoops in unofficial before-work games.

“They just met on their own and played,” Wilson said. “They probably ranged from age 20 to 55.”

When the courts closed, those games ended abruptly.

Now, “We’re trying to get the word back out” that players can once again come dunk, drive and dribble at the gym, Wilson said.

Pagano features an “excellent condition basketball court” with full court capabilities, she said. “We’re proud it’s able to open back.”

The gym provides basketballs for players and normal tennis shoes are required for anyone on the court.

Children are allowed to play basketball but those under age 16 must be accompanied by a parent.

Wilson said the basketball court is available on a first-come basis with no reservations allowed.

Also reopened are the gyms’ two racquetball courts, one that can be reserved up to 24 hours in advance, and another that is an “open challenge court,” available on a first-come basis, she said.

Typically two players play racquetball but it’s not unusual to have a doubles game.

Racquetball players may bring their own equipment, including protective eyewear and racquets, but these items can be supplied by the gym.

“With COVID mitigating measures, we suggest people bring their own equipment if they have it,” Wilson said.

Anyone with a military ID card, DOD civilians, and contractors who are MWR members are eligible to use Pagano Gym at building 3474 on Honest John Road.

Hours are Monday through Thursday from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information, call Pagano Gym at 876-6701.

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