BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – The renovated and expanded tennis courts at Recreation Park are finally finished and have been dedicated to the memory of a local tennis enthusiast.
Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham held a news conference yesterday to officially dedicate the courts in honor of Harper Stantz.
The 16-year-old girl was struck and killed by a drugged driver in March of 2019 while walking home from playing tennis at Rec Park on a Monday afternoon.
The project to renovate the courts was plagued by construction problems, drainage issues and delays. However, the focus yesterday was on Stantz, who was a member of the Binghamton High School tennis team and a beloved member of the junior class.
Players from both Binghamton and Seton’s girls’ tennis teams presented Harper’s parents Marty and Patty with yellow flowers in honor of Harper’s favorite color. Then, they took to the court as Marty and Harper’s grandfather played a ceremonial first volley.
The Stantz’s say they appreciate that the community hasn’t forgotten their daughter.
“When you lose a child, I think that’s the most important thing, to keep their memory alive. This community has been great. As the Mayor mentioned earlier about the Music Fest, the courts and we have the beautiful bench down there. There’s just been countless acts of love that keep her memory strong in people’s minds. And the cleanup, don’t forget the cleanup. It’s really gotten us through some of the hardest times of our lives for sure,” said Marty.
Marty shared this image, the last selfie that Harper took at the tennis court the day she was hit.
Both Seton and Binghamton tennis teams use the courts at Rec Park.