A fines del año pasado, exactamente el 28 de diciembre, “La Copita”, como se conoce popularmente a la cancha de básquet de la Plaza 1º de Marzo de 1948, en Saavedra, fue protagonista de un hecho histórico. Recibió la visita de Emanuel Ginóbili, el mejor basquetbolista argentino de todos los tiempos, campeón olímpico y subcampeón del mundo con la selección nacional y recientemente retirado de San Antonio Spurs, equipo de la NBA con el que obtuvo cuatro anillos.
La iniciativa formó parte de una campaña publicitaria de la marca de ropa deportiva que auspicia al ex basquetbolista, de 41 años, y consistió en la gigantografía de Manu realizada por el artista Rodrigo Ojeda sobre el rectángulo azul de juego. “Dibujada en blanco y negro, en el centro del campo, se puede apreciar a Ginóbili de espaldas, con su característico número 20 en la remera blanca de los Spurs, su brazo y pulgar izquierdo en alto y una toalla en su mano derecha”, reseñó el diario La Nación en su crónica.
La histórica canchita de básquet, situada en el predio delimitado por las calles Valdenegro, Galván, García del Río y Flor del Aire, había sido inutilizada a fines de 2014 luego de una polémica reforma encarada por el Gobierno de la Ciudad. Sin consultar a los vecinos que la utilizaban a diario, se retiraron las columnas de los tableros, se construyó una carpeta de hormigón simple sobre el piso de asfalto y se colocaron dos arcos metálicos de handball, sobre los que se montaron aros de básquet. Luego de quejas y manifestaciones de los habitantes del barrio, los funcionarios porteños dieron marcha atrás con la medida.
A mediados de enero de 2015 el Gobierno de la Ciudad puso en marcha las obras para reconstruir el perfil de la cancha según el diseño original. El plan, acordado con los vecinos, incluyó el retiro de los arcos metálicos de handball y la colocación de nuevos pilotes para montar, una vez restaurados, los elementos originales del juego, como jirafas, aros y tableros, según las medidas reglamentarias.
En aquel momento un grupo de vecinos trabajó en la redacción de un proyecto de ley para declarar bien de interés cultural a La Copita, construida a fines de la década del 40 en la plaza del sub-barrio Presidente Roque Sáenz Peña, en el corazón Saavedra. Es una de las pocas canchas públicas de básquet que quedan en la ciudad. Tanto esfuerzo por defenderla tuvo su premio con la visita de una leyenda del deporte argentino como Manu Ginóbili, que elogió el mantenimiento del lugar y, como si fuera poco, estampó su firma con un aerosol.

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