A local coach is one half of an organization trying to give the Border City’s aspiring basketball players a new place to hone their game.
Chris King, the head Basketball coach of the Lakeland College Rustlers, along with Regina based coach Tanner Brightman, began Golden Ticket Sports to foster the game across the area. Since starting their business, they’ve been putting on coaching clinics for corporate clients, clubs, coaches, and members of sports from around the world.
The next step Golden Ticket is taking to develop basketball in the community is opening Hoops Factory, a place in Lloydminster where up and coming players can develop with guidance from local coaches. King explains that this is good for both players who have been in the game for a while and new young people who may be inspired to pick up the ball recently.
“To have a facility where people can come and work on their game, I think is going to go a long way. Plus, being able to provide training in the morning and on weekends that usually kids from this area would have to drive two to three hours for will really help develop our local area.”
He adds that part of the reason for the new passion in the community is recent successes for Canadian basketball, such as the Toronto Raptors winning the 2019 NBA championship.
The new facility will be in an 8,000 square foot warehouse on the Alberta/Saskatchewan border, which has been renovated and repainted. It will feature one regulation-sized court, two youth courts and two regulation volleyball courts. Golden Ticket Sports hopes the facility will not only be a place for people to learn but a tribute to the game and its impact in the Lloydminster community.
With the COVID-19 restrictions still being a possibility when Hoops Factory opens, the team at Golden Ticket is looking at ways to continue following guidelines. This means keeping in touch with the City of Lloydminster, provincial health authorities and Basketball regulatory organizations to continue adapting to the pandemic.
King adds that they’ll work around this through smaller class sizes and “Mini-Leagues” to start, but the goal of growing the game is taking shape.
“It’s a tough time of year for everyone, but the fact now that we now have programming available, I think it puts us more on par with some of the hockey coaching and abilities that you get as an athlete here. So hopefully we continue to give all our local athletes more chances at success.”
Hoops Factory has a tentative opening date of sometime in October of 2020.