Ballers check out new outdoor basketball ‘sport court’ surface
Junior Krystofer Bagunu dribbles past senior Peter Park during practice Aug. 14. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake.

It began as a small idea.

Why not cover the black asphalt basketball courts next to the swimming pool and girl’s locker with a surface that provides a more safer and efficient ground for students to play on?

About a year and a half ago, principal Allen Whitten then researched online for different options and came up with Georgia-based VersaCourt, which produces outdoor, plastic playing surface tiles.  

“We were searching for a court that would benefit the students and came across VersaCourt,” Whitten said. “I thought it had a fair, competitive price and great quality.”

Referred to by the principal as a “Sport Court,” the titanium yellow surface also features the “SH” logo in the center.

The surface is very versatile as it is used for various sports and conditioning activities by physical education teachers and other sports coaches, Whitten said.

Though the principal declined to say how much it cost, he said the money came from excess funds from the 2018-2019 school year.

“We have this need to enhance our athletic facility and upgrade our campus,” Whitten said.

Whitten said he’s been looking for a court surface to cover the blacktops for several years now, but proposals were slow to move forward until last year.

Plans for the Sport Court were formally introduced during the previous school year, and the court was put into place over the summer by July 15.

During the offseason, the Sunny Hills girls and boys basketball team used the Sport Court for training. Girls basketball coach Jae Byun noticed the difference between the blacktop surface and the new tile surface.

“Falling on asphalt can scrape up students harder than the Sport Court,” Byun said. “I think people play harder on [the Sport Court] since they know they are not getting hurt.”

Basketball player junior Aaron Hong, who played three to four times a week in the courts, is happy with how the court accommodates to some of the issues that the blacktop brought.

“The balls get less dirty now that they are bouncing on the clean, plastic courts,” Hong said. “It’s much better compared to times when we [played] on filthy dirt and rocks.”

After first court was created, the PTSA offered to fund the installation of more Sport Courts in the future. 

Plans to create a second basketball court and a volleyball court using the same material have been made

“We have the boys volleyball team now, and it sucks to play volleyball out there on the blacktop all the time,” Whitten said. “We want nice facilities for our teams.”

The next two additions would be placed next to the current court, and the volleyball court will have permanent volleyball posts set up.

“I hope the students will get a lot of use out of [the Sport Court],” Whitten said. “If people think of other ideas to enhance our campus, let us know.”

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