CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — December 31 has arrived, and with it, the threat of eviction for the operators of the Culture Complex basketball clinic.
Former collegiate — and before that Corpus Christi high school — basketball players Corey Haywood and Marcus Ellison are now locked out of the building they rent along South Padre Island Drive at the Crosstown Expressway, and their clinic is closed.
“They changed the locks, so we no longer have access to get into the gym," Haywood said. "So we’re working with our attorney to see what we can do to at least get our stuff out, or if we can stay in there.”
Haywood and Ellison signed an 18-month lease and opened their basketball clinic for kids in April.
But in early December, the duo found out that landlord JoAnn Amaya wanted to evict them for an alleged breach of contract over a matter involving rent.
Haywood says they've always paid rent on time and are still attempting to fight the eviction notice.
“We tried to pay our rent yesterday for the beginning of January," he said. "(Amaya) told us she’s no longer accepting our payments. She still wants us evicted from the complex.”
Attorney John Garcia says the legal battle isn't over, and he and other attorneys will continue to fight for Culture Complex being able to remain in its current facility.
Moving the clinic to a new location and possibly losing the equipment at the old site would be costly.
“Some thousands (of dollars)," Haywood replied when asked how much money he'd lose. "But it’s not about the money. It’s about the kids and about the community. We knew that going into it. It was just about helping the community. So we just want to give back.”
The public will have the opportunity to give to Culture Complex's efforts to reopen. Haywood says they'll likely hold a fundraiser sometime early in 2022.
Meanwhile, he's staying positive about the possibility of changing locations.
“Really it would be a blessing, because it’s something new going into 2022," Haywood said. "We want to be able to be somewhere where we’re welcome and we’re wanted. But if we stay here too and finish contract — that would be great too."
Amaya and her attorney did not return our phone calls for comments on this story.
This is a developing story.
Check back for updates on the eviction battle in the legal system.