Ithaca, N.Y. – A basketball court in Ithaca will be rededicated to the late community activist Melvin L. Bell, according to the Greater Ithaca Activities Center.

The rededication will take place on Tuesday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the basketball court on the 300 block of West Court Street.

Bell was a champion of youth recreation, an Army veteran, and an All-American athlete.

Bell was named an All-American basketball player in 1950 and was inducted into the Scholastic Hall of Fame and recognized by the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and the Tompkins County Sports Council.

Then-Ithaca mayor Edward Conley named April 21, 1978 “Mel Bell Day.”

“Mr. Bell provided exemplary service to the Ithaca community and nation,” said Lana Milton of the GIAC.

Milton also said that Bell’s daughter will be in attendance for the rededication of the court, which was closed in 2008 when the the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation called for a “large-scale excavation of contaminated soils across the site,” according to NYSEG. More information about the remediation of the area can be found here.

Kyle Friend

A senior at Cornell University, Kyle covers the affordable housing crisis for the Ithaca Voice. Reach him through e-mail: