Pacers Athletic Center Partnership Aims to Grow Basketball

by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer
@Greg_Rappaport

The Pacers Athletic Center — which before today was known as Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse — offers one of the best environments in the country for youth basketball.

The state-of-the-art, 88,000 square foot facility opened in January of 2016 and has quickly become a top Midwest destination for youth sports training, tournaments, and league play. While it is primarily known for its basketball offerings, the Pacers Athletic Center's eight indoor courts are also used for volleyball and futsal.

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"The Pacers have always been the leaders of basketball in Indiana, and this once again shows that we are committed to all levels," said PS&E President and COO Rick Fuson. "There's just no question that basketball is home in Indiana, and the Fieldhouse at Grand Park, which we are rebranding the Pacers Athletic Center, is our commitment to making sure that kids of all ages, in a lot of different sports, know that they have a place to play and that they know the Pacers are behind them."

With tournament sponsors such as Nike, the Pacers Athletic Center will frequently be the center of attention for elite youth basketball, both in the Midwest and nationally. The Jr. NBA, presented by Under Armour, named the Pacers Athletic Center part of its Flagship Network, a group of 15 best-in-class youth basketball organizations. As part of the partnership, the Pacers will update the eight courts with Pacers branding elements, as well as offering unique opportunities to connect the community with the Pacers organization.

"The Pacers started this season talking about how they grow basketball, and they do," explained the Pacers Athletic Center co-owner Mike Klipsch, when asked about the partnership. "Kids aspire, growing up in Indiana, to be an Indiana Pacer someday, and our facility is all about teaching basketball to literally tens-of-thousands of kids every year. So it's just a perfect fit for what the Pacers are doing in terms of growing basketball in Indiana."

On top of the tournaments that already take place at the Pacers Athletic Center, the location was recently selected as a host for the first-of-its kind Jr. NBA World Championship, representing the Midwest Region, which includes Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

"The Jr. NBA World Championship represents another significant step in our effort to promote youth basketball globally," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "And in addition to high-level competition on the court, participants will learn from NBA and WNBA veterans and coaches the values of the game and the most appropriate training techniques."

With numerous tournaments being held at the facility, the reasons for the Pacers' involvement are myriad. But to put it simply, with the Pacers Athletic Center being the center of youth basketball in the Midwest, it presents a perfect opportunity to live up to the idea that in Indiana, We Grow Basketball Here.

Pacers Athletic Center - Infographic