Boo Williams Sportsplex to Be Largest Facility of its Kind between D.C. and Greensboro
Hampton, VA: For more than 10 years, Boo Williams has dreamed of opening a state-of-the-art youth sports facility. A former NCAA star and youth basketball icon whose name is on the Blackberries of college coaches across America, Williams’ dream is rapidly heading towards tip-off. From soccer, field hockey, volleyball, martial arts, lacrosse, wrestling, track, dance, paint ball – and of course basketball – the new Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, Virginia will open in March and at more than three acres will be the largest facility of its kind in a nearly 200-mile radius.
“We wanted to provide a premier destination for the whole range of youth sports under one roof,” says Williams, a Hampton, VA native whose real name is Marcellus Spencer Williams Jr. “It’s all about the kids and providing a great youth sports venue for people from here and around the country.”
The 135,000 square-foot sportsplex will feature eight basketball courts, six-lane indoor track, eight volleyball courts, four competition hockey courts, fitness, speed and conditioning facilities, meeting rooms, operation center, registration area and concessions. Floor space can be configured to accommodate most indoor sporting activities and can hold two major events simultaneously. The venue has a 4,000-person seating capacity.
As Williams’ dream, the sportsplex will be home to the Boo Williams Summer League, an AAU affiliated basketball program he started in 1982 that now has a network of 165 teams. For the last 25 years, Williams has been recruiting, teaching and helping thousands of young athletes, both boys and girls and many underprivileged. Hundreds have gone to college on basketball scholarships and many have become college stars and pros, such as J.J. Redick, Alonzo Mourning and Allen Iverson. Williams himself was a high school basketball star, a Hall of Famer at St. Joseph’s University and a pro in Europe.
“There is no one in the country that has helped youth basketball more than Boo Williams,” says Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. “His work has been pure! Boo wants each youngster, regardless of his level of talent, to develop their potential as a person and as a player.”
The sportsplex will host tournaments and events starting in March. Highlights among the more than 30 events already scheduled for first half of 2008 include the Nike Boo Williams Spring Invitational for boys basketball on April 11-13 and the Nike Spring Invitational for girls basketball on April 18-20. Field hockey competitions will be held every Tuesday and Wednesday from April through May. On May 10-11 the sportsplex will showcase the Virginia USA Gymnastics Level 5 Meet. The ESPN Cheerleading and Dance Battle will be held May 31. From July 10-17 the facility will host the 12 and Under Division 1 AAU Boys National Basketball Championship, followed by the 14 and Under Division II AAU Girls National Basketball Championship on July 17-24. The Karch Kiraly Youth Volleyball Camp will be held July 21-25. The tournaments and events will attract thousands of players, organizers, scouts, coaches and fans from across the country.
“Boo Williams is one of the “good guys” of youth basketball,” says John Thompson Jr., former Georgetown University’s men’s basketball coach. “He leads one of, if not the most prominent summer travel teams, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. For every Ronald Curry, Alonzo Mourning or Allen Iverson that plays on his travel teams there are literally hundreds of other lives that he influences with his Boo Williams Summer League in Hampton. Boo’s ONLY agenda is to help our kids. He is truly a role model and an inspiration.”
Williams’ work and reputation for helping kids is hailed throughout college basketball.
“For many years Boo Williams has done an outstanding job with his youth basketball work,” says University of North Carolina Men’s Basketball Coach Roy Williams. “He spends countless hours helping young people on and off the court. How can anything be more important than helping kids?”
The sportsplex will also host a range of events and activities in conjunction with the City of Hampton, which provided land for the facility and some of the infrastructure costs. The Sportsplex’es location at 5 Armistead Point is just off Interstate I-64 and in close proximity to Hampton’s New Town Center, providing easy access to hotel, hospitality, restaurants, services and cultural attractions.
“The Boo Williams Sportsplex will provide young athletes a grand facility in which to participate and watch inspired competition in a wide range of sport,” says Hampton Mayor Ross Kearney. “The facility will also take the region into a new phase of economic development in regards to athletic competition.”
Williams anticipates a busy opening season, overseeing his dream come true, as well as in his continuing role as an ambassador of youth sports, traveling, recruiting, coaching and consulting. He is also the current AAU Chairman of Boys Basketball and an agent for State Farm Insurance.
“I have a good team around me to help make all of this happen,” says the affable six-foot, eight-inch former power forward. “This facility will give kids from around the region the opportunity to compete with children from all over the world. It will offer a great learning experience and a chance for everyone to increase their athletic abilities. I can’t wait to see the kids faces when they come inside the sportsplex.”
Boo Williams Sportsplex will offer the following indoor sports:
Basketball Soccer Cheerleading
Hockey Track and Field Baton
Field Hockey Volleyball Paintball
Wrestling Lacrosse Power Lifting/Weight Lifting
Boxing Martial Arts Dance
Baseball Practice Gymnastics
For more information about the Boo Williams Sportsplex, visit www.boowilliamssportsplex.com or contact Scott McCaskey at Goldman & Associates Public Relations at 757-625-2518 or at [email protected] For Sportsplex event booking information, call 757-637-7300.
Boo Williams Bio Brief: Marcellus Spencer Williams Jr. “Boo Williams,” 48, lives and grew up in Hampton, Virginia. He was a basketball star at Phoebus High School and went on to play at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where he was later inducted to the school’s Hall of Fame. The 6-foot, eight-inch power forward went on to play professional basketball in Europe. In 1982 Williams started the Boo Williams Summer League, a non-profit AAU basketball program based in Hampton, VA. Founded with four teams, the Summer League now has 165 teams and more than 2,000 male and female players who compete across the country and abroad. Sponsored by Nike, Summer League teams have won several national championships. Williams is nationally and internationally known as an ambassador and consultant for youth basketball and youth sports. He currently is the AAU Chairman of Boys Basketball and on the USA/ABA Cadet Committee for Development of Future Olympians. Williams was Disney Wide World Sports Volunteer of the Year in 2001. He is also an agent for State Farm Insurance. The Boo Williams Sportsplex is slated to open in March, 2008 and will provide a 135,000 square foot facility for a wide range of indoor youth sport, including basketball, volleyball, track and field, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, gymnastics and many other youth sports and activities. The sportsplex will be the largest venue of its kind in a nearly 200-mile radius between Washington, D.C. and Greensboro, N.C. For more information on Boo Williams, visit: www.boowilliamsbasketball.com and www.boowilliamssportsplex.com.