Modern, state-of-the-art stadiums and facilities have been popping up left and right around professional and college sports over the past couple of decades.
Facilities for club basketball programs? Uh, not so much. It's a different ballgame.
Club basketball programs have grown by the dozens over the years, yet finding a permanent home for them to play in is nearly non-existent. They scurry from gym to gym, with limited availability and odd practice times.
But Todd Wolfe, who started up the Illinois Attack program in 2008 and the Crossover Basketball Academy (formerly Rising Stars) in 1994, is in the process of providing the rare opportunity for club basketball: a home gym.
Supreme Courts, located in the far southeast side of Aurora, will open its doors to the public Dec. 26. Wolfe, along with a group of investors he has partnered up with, took a leap of faith and began construction of the facility in late July. In a matter of five months the facility is up and running.
It will house the Illinois Attack program, but it will also provide opportunities for various youth, high school and adult basketball leagues, tournaments and camps. Supreme Courts has a goal of partnering up with various clubs and groups all over the Chicagoland area "to impact the youth basketball environment," Wolfe says.
"We will house travel leagues, tournaments and continue training basketball players properly," says Wolfe, who wants to be sure it's known that Supreme Courts is more than just a facility. "We are going to maintain our roots, which is training basketball players."
The brand new facility will house the Illinois Attack program, along with the Naperville Rockets and Illinois Raptors programs. The first-class facility includes four high school sized wooden courts and a total of 24 overhead baskets throughout the facility.
With this type of facility in place, Wolfe hopes that not only will the Attack program's profile rise, but the interest in the personal training of players. There are a number of former Division I players who are involved in training players of all ages, both as part of the Illinois Attack program and the Crossover Basketball Academy. Now they have a home in the western suburbs to do so.
"A goal of ours is to have a high-level program that is able to feed kids to college," says Wolfe, who starred at Arlington Heights and played at Michigan State in the 1980s. "We want to be viewed at a higher level. We want to do things the right way. I do think the facility does provide some validity to our program."