PLAINVILLE - The Basketball House, at 75 Neal Court, offers a place for local children and teens to play basketball and volleyball, practice and compete in leagues and tournaments.
Brad Fabian will be starting his first leagues this week after two years of working to make his dream a reality.
“We’ve been open for two weeks now and it’s time to spread the word and get people in here,” he said. “So far, we have been nothing but successful. People are so happy to have this place.”
Fabian said that, after coaching for many years and speaking to other coaches, he came to the conclusion that young athletes needed to have a place where they could play and practice more often.
“Kids would maybe practice once during the week and have a competition once on the weekend,” he said. “There weren’t enough courts to go around for everyone. Now, I have basketball coaches and church youth organizations asking to bring their kids here. Locally, we have high school varsity volleyball but no feeder programs and we will have volleyball coaches here who can do a clinic with young athletes to better prepare them.
“We’ve been getting a lot of attention; our Facebook page is up to 530 likes in two weeks. We’ve had interest from people in Southington, Farmington, Bristol, Waterbury, Cheshire - all the surrounding communities.”
Fabian said The Basketball House will have open gym time as well, but the time will be allocated by age group, with different ages having access on different days.
“In some places, fourth-graders would be using the same space as high school-age kids and inevitably the fourth-grade kids would get booted off the court and go home crying,” he said. “That is something we wanted to avoid. We’ll have a middle school-age kid night, a high school night and an adult night. We also have our schedule filling up with tournaments.”
The facility features two basketball courts and three volleyball courts.
“A railroad used to run through this building and there were two cranes that would pick up and stockpile crates and then load them,” he said. “In the last 50 years, it was used for painting boats and trucks. When I first came in here, it was piled high with boats.”
Fabian said this his criteria included an accessible and safe location, as well as one with a high ceiling. He went with the building on Neal Court because it is only a few minutes from the highway, it is close to the local police station and it has a 40-foot ceiling.
Renovations included flattening the surface for the basketball and volleyball courts and putting a cushion under it to give it a little more bounce and reduce the chance of foot and ankle injuries.
Fabian said that he may consider contacting local organizations such as PARC and The Petit Family Foundation to offer his space for charitable events.
“Get off your butt and check us out,” he said. “You’ll have fun and you’ll have an opportunity to meet new people that like some of the same things you do.”
For more information, call 860-916-3331, visit thebasketballhouse.com or connect on Facebook at facebook.com/thebasketballhouseplainville.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.