‘Court of Dreams’ a reality

September 8, 2009 — by David Eng and Sarah Hull

“Oh, you gotta’ be kidding me!” girls’ basketball coach Mike Davey shouted as his floater ricocheted off a netless hoop inside Saratoga High’s new “Court of Dreams.”

Construction of the Sports Courts was completed over the busy summer under the supervision of Davey, assistant principal Joe Bosco, principal Jeff Anderson and superintendent Cary Matsuoka. During that time, a barren strip of dirt and gravel became a state-of-the-art outdoor basketball and volleyball court.

To celebrate, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. on Oct. 10 that will also feature a father-daughter basketball game.

The final cost for the Court of Dreams, which includes two regulation sized basketball and volleyball courts, was about $500,000. Davey raised the initial funds from the community but still gave most of the credit to the school district and Sports Boosters, which funded the remainder.

“They really stepped up and filled the large gap in funds,” said Davey. “It was going to take a long time if they hadn’t contributed.”

After construction finished a week before school started, the courts were immediately put to use. Davey added that when there were no nets on the baskets, there were already students playing on them all the time.
“It’s filling a need for this community. It provides another recreational opportunity to just go out on the weekend or after school and shoot,” said Davey.

During school hours, the court will most likely be reserved for physical fitness classes and SHS students. After school, preference will be given to school sports teams before the maintenance crew locks them up at sunset.

The uniqueness of the facility stems from the special material which tiles the floors of the courts. Because the surface is rigid yet porous, a player can practice there just five minutes after rain. It also offers In addition to the physical benefits of playing on the high-tech flooring, the atmosphere of the courts is more laid back than in a typical gym.

"It's a totally different environment outside," said senior forward-center Baylee Yates. "In the gym it seems more structured, like there are strict rules to play by, but on the Sport Court it seems like a place where I can just goof around and have fun while practicing."

One of the few flaws of the design, though, is the surrounding environment. Every morning, the maintenance crew must blow away a thin layer of tree needles shed by overshadowing redwood trees.

“We knew of the redwood tree issue before construction started, but we couldn’t really cut them down. Other than that, the location and setting is pretty ideal,” said Bosco.

The “Court of Dreams” had been a project of Davey’s for over a year. Now, what was once simply a dream has become reality.

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