It’s the sport New Yorkers see played in nearly every playground, school yard and underpasses across New York City.

No matter the terrain, ballers make it work.

But for Xavier Bratton, who lives near Olinville playground, his home court could use some help.

What You Need To Know

  • The Cornstein family started their nonprofit, Courts of Dreams, to help promote leadership and discipline through the sport of basketball

  • After the pandemic, they decided to allow their son Danny to take over, and his first project was rebuilding Woodlawn Playground

  • The nonprofit has also now raised the funds to redo the Olinville playground, and is hoping to break ground very soon

“The floor is really bad. The rims, they’re not good either. A new court would probably change the game for everybody,” Bratton said.

Enter Danny Cornstein, a basketball player himself.

For the past three years, the high schooler has led fundraising efforts in an attempt to fix worn-out basketball courts across the Bronx.

Cornstein’s parents started Courts of Dreams 16 years ago, hoping to give back through a sport that taught so much about leadership and dedication. After the pandemic, they agreed to pass the foundation to their son.

Cornstein said the foundation selected Olinville court to rebuild in 2023.

"We choose this court for many fairly obvious reasons. Just when you step on the court you can see cracks all over the court. The netting is broken, the backboards. The paint is coming off. It’s really an unplayable surface. It’s really slippery,” he said.

With a team of 12 high school volunteers and a deep love of the game, Cornstein identifies basketball courts that are not only in need of refurbishment, but are also popular hot spots in the community.

“The work my team and I do every single day to make our dreams come true because this really combines two of our biggest passions which are giving back to the community and basketball,” Cornstein said.

The Woodlawn Playground was Cornstein’s first flip. After months of fundraising and contracting, it took four months and thousands of dollars to create the dream court.

“To be able to help out people in the community, that’s the greatest joy for me,” Cornstein said.

For building up others' dreams, Danny Cornstein is our New Yorker of the Week.