A Bert Jenkins basketball practice was probably a lot like this demolition project. Jenkins' teams worked hard, so Gulfport could scoop up and dismantle its worthy opponents.
When B. Frank Brown Gym's south wall tumbled over, a shattered backboard became visible. It symbolized how Gulfport teams always seemed to shatter the dreams of visitors who came to this basketball sanctuary. "There are so many great memories that this gym brings back to me," the legendary coach said as he looked the old gym. "Gosh, it's 28 years here. It was all fun, it seems like."
The gym actually stood for 50 years. Demolition crews began tearing it down after the Gulfport School District sold the downtown property to Coast Transit Authority.
Gulfport Athletic Director Prince Jones once had an office in a corner of the gym. "I had to ride through here and look at this," Jones said from his car. "I hate to see it go. There has been a lot of good times here. We've got a beautiful facility at the high school. But nothing will replace B. Frank Brown in this area."
About the time the demolition started, somebody placed a Lady Admirals warm-up and a boys basketball jersey on fence posts surrounding the old gym. They obviously wanted everybody to remember what Prince Jones said. Despite the demolition, this property will always be the home of basketball champions.
The new CTA garage will be right across the street from the new federal courthouse. According to contractors, the courthouse opens in late August. The garage should be built by early 2004.