Court of Dreams

February 9, 2009 — by Abhishek Venkataramana and Jenny Zhang

After years of lacking courts during the off-season, basketball players will finally be able to play year-round on a brand new state-of-the-art outdoor court to be installed by the end of the year. The idea, nicknamed “Court of Dreams,” was introduced by girls’ basketball coach Mike Davey last year.

“Ever since I’ve been here,” said Davey, “we’ve always had a problem finding a place to practice during the off- season when everyone is trying to use the gym at once, so I think this is something we really need.”

The new court will be located on the east end of the track, behind the football goal post and next to Herriman Avenue. The district has already approved funding for a cement slab that will cover the area for two basketball courts, and Davey has raised the necessary $100,000 to build one court, a cost significantly lower than that of building a brand new gym. He is still hoping to raise enough money for a second court, since building two courts at one time will cost less.

The “Court of Dreams” has already been approved by the District Selling Association, an organization that overviews safety for facilities. This process alone was a big hurdle, but the fact that the court was approved much more quickly than upgrades to the gym raised hopes that the project can be completed by the end of this school year.

According to Davey, the school is in a bidding process, where companies who build sport courts make offers as to how much it will cost. Under state law, the company that bids the lowest price must be chosen.

“The problem with bidding is that not a lot of [companies] install these sport courts,” said Davey, “so it can be a tedious job.”

Despite minor complications, this new project is likely solve many problems, including training for teams during both the off-season and the transition between seasons, when many different athletic teams need to use the gym at the same time. When the weather permits, not only will the basketball teams but also other sports teams that require use of the gym, will be able to benefit from it as well, because the court will function both as a basketball and volleyball court. The new court will also be open to the general public when school hours are over, and teams are not using it.

“I think having this court will definitely be beneficial for us,” said sophomore basketball player Alex Chan. ”We won’t have to wait forever and hold up our practices until gym space is available.”

Davey’s dream first started materializing when he went to the Final Four in April of 2007 and got to see all the sports equipment being used by various teams. “Sport Court” basketball courts are made of a composite material, softer than cement, and are able to last through most weather conditions. Davey felt the material would be perfect for Saratoga High, which “lacked the funds and property space for building another gymnasium.”

“I saw this ‘Sport Court’ material and I knew it would be perfect for out school,” said Davey. “It’s inexpensive, good on the knees and easy to install.”

Davey has been hoping for a better facilities situation since the first year he started teaching at Saratoga High, and he hopes that with its installation, the basketball team will improve much more quickly.

“Practice moves you towards perfection. The more practice we can get in, the better we will be as a team,” said Davey.

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