Houston Dynamo defender, Fort Wayne native DaMarcus Beasley helps open futsal courts at Packard Park

DaMarcus Beasley, right, laughs with Indiana Soccer Association executive director Dave Guthrie, left, at the opening of Beasley Courts on Thursday at Packard Park. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of news-sentinel.com)
Neighborhood youngsters play futsal at the Beasley Courts on Thursday at Packard Park. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of news-sentinel.com)
DaMarcus Beasley, left, signs an autograph Thursday at Packard Park. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of news-sentinel.com)
The Beasley Courts logo at Packard Park. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of news-sentinel.com)
DaMarcus Beasley, center, with his parents Henry and Joetta at the Beasley Courts at Packard Park on Thursday. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of news-sentinel.com)
DaMarcus Beasley poses with children at the new Packard Park Beasley Courts futsal court Thursday. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of news-sentinel.com)
Fort Wayne youngsters try out the new futsal court, Beasley Courts, on Thursday at Packard Park. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of news-sentinel.com)
The Homestead High School boys soccer team poses with DaMarcus Beasley on Thursday at Packard Park. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of news-sentinel.com)

DaMarcus Beasley signed autographs, posed for photos and spent a lot of time smiling Thursday afternoon at Packard Park.

Beasley, the only four-time member of the United States World Cup men’s soccer team, was in town for the opening of Beasley Courts, a futsal court at Packard Park on the south side of his Fort Wayne hometown.

“This is probably the most honored and excited I’ve ever been about any project I’ve ever done,” Beasley said.

Beasley said it took about five seconds for him to get on board with the proposal for a public-private partnership to refurbish the former tennis courts at the park. The partnership involved Beasley, the Indiana Soccer Association and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation. The Homestead boys soccer team raised money for the project and were on hand, too.

“This project is close to my heart and to my family’s,” Beasley said. “I wish I had something like this when I was growing up.”

The Beasley Courts will be open for neighborhood youth. The Beasley Futsal Club, in conjunction with the parks department, will have free futsal clinics from July 7 to Aug. 8 at the courts. The clinics are 10:30 a.m. to noon on Mondays, 3:30-5 p.m. Tuesdays and 5:30-7 p.m. Thursdays. Drop in/pick up games will be 9:30-11 a.m. Saturdays.

“So many people were involved in making this happen,” Beasley said. “The Homestead soccer team, Indiana youth soccer, the mayor, people raising money. It’s a lot bigger than me. For me to be a part of it, I’m very blessed and very honored.”

Beasley is currently playing with the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer.

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