Sgt. Courtney T. Johnson, 26, died in Besmaya, Iraq, in July. He was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in Fort Benning, Ga., and he previously served in the Marines.
Johnson grew up in the Southgate area in southeast Raleigh and spent days at the community center, at 1801 Procter St. He later started two-on-two basketball tournaments, coached softball and helped children with homework at the center.
More than 1,000 people signed a petition seeking the name change, and city officials agreed to waive a three-year waiting period for renaming facilities because of Johnson’s contributions to the community.