URBANDALE, Iowa -- If this court could talk. "If you think about the coaches that have been on here, Bob Knight, Tom Izzo and one of my favorites Tom Crean." On Monday the entire basketball court the Iowa Hawkeyes used to play on found a new home in Urbandale. John lamb, owner of Handle University, out-bid the team's head coach in an auction for $60,000. "Last fall about this time of year, I was doing workouts and Fran came to watch and evaluate some players and I found out that's who I beat in the auction."
Breaking ground in May, Lamb says the $2.5M facility, which will be utilized to train athletes year-round, began from humble beginnings. "It was about three years of making literally close to nothing. But, I think that's what it takes."
Lamb played Division I basketball for Morehead State and later Iowa State and says a setback in life changed his ways in 2011 when he was arrested on drug charges. "I was barking up the wrong tree. I was something that I wasn't and God will never bless that."
Now he has dedicated his life to serving others through sports, like Gatdoar Bijiek who plays basketball at Des Moines North. "He's basically my brother," said Gatdoar. Lamb is instilling an academics first mentally "All of our athletes have to spend an hour in our study hall before they can even get out there on the court."
Gatdoar and many others have already bought in to success on and off the court. "If you go to any high school and you fail classes you can't play, so without school you can't play at all," said Gatdoar.
The facility also allows 24 hour access to the members. "Our security system will watch you on the floor and whatever you are doing. I can be in china on my laptop and say follow through on the shot."
While the facility's plan is to create a hotbed of basketball in the metro, the location was also strategically created for access. "The bus stop and having access to this." For another Des Moines North athlete, Lino Malual, that extra attention to kids like him has not gone unnoticed. "What he does, people won't do and to know there is someone out there who really thinks of us and that we have something special, it makes us happy," said Lino.
The building is expected to be complete November 2nd. The court is expected to be laid down October 22nd.