AMASA, Mich. (WJMN) — Since 2006, Connor Sports in Iron County, Michigan has been the official court supplier of the NCAA Division I Men and Women’s Final Four Tournament.
Eleven new, custom built, portable floors are in the process of being made at the Amasa facility.
“We’re making flooring from rough lumber that we bring in from a various number of saw mills from the U.P. We’re making flooring into strips then we’re panelizing those into what you would see as a portable floor panel or portable floor court, used for the tournaments,” says Jason Gasperich, Technical Director for Connor Sports.
But it isn’t such a simple process — lumber for the court was harvested all the way back in September and left to dry for months to reach 6 to 9% wood moisture. The wood pieces are then cut down to the same width and thickness. The wood is inspected for the best quality possible any imperfections are cut out. The wood is then milled to be smooth and to include the grooves on the side of each piece that allow for quick assembly. Those pieces are then put together to form a panel. Each panel is trimmed and cut to uniform sizes and prepared to move on to another facility for final touches such as sanding, painting, and finishing.
“There’s a lot of man hours that go into it. There’s a lot of people that touch that court from the time the tree is cut down all the way until it’s installed in the facility,” adds Gasperich.
Plus, with more than 125 employees hands-on in this process, this time of year, is especially exciting at Connor Sports.
“There’s a sense of pride that is very evident around the property. It’s a rare opportunity where people that are working day in and day out on a job that’s pretty tough work, and see what they’re actually building everyday, and see it on national television,” added Gasperich.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the completed courts at this year’s NCAA Final Four Men and Women’s tournament.