UP mill makes 2023 NCAA Final Four basketball courts

Connor Sports Mill has been making hardwood courts for 150 years.
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 8:14 PM EDT
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AMASA, Mich. (WLUC) - Both of this year’s NCAA Final Four men’s and women’s basketball courts have been made by Connor Sports Mill in Amasa.

Connor Sports Mill has been making hardwood courts for 150 years. Technical Director Jason Gasperich said the process of making the floor starts seven months before the game by collecting tons of northern hard maple wood lumber.

“We bring lumber in that is green so it must be dried, so we dry the lumber and then we go into the flooring melt where we convert that material to actual strips of flooring,” said Gasperich. “After that, we produced the flooring, we take it to another department where we pannel the flooring and we nail it to a custom-built subfloor.”

Gasperich went on to say before the wood is loaded onto a truck and there is a third-party floor finisher on which the floor is established and locked together.

“The floor is then sanded and there’s a seal coat that goes down on the wood to protect it. Then there is a painting that is done so the game lines and all the graphics are painted on the floor, “said Gasperich. “After the painting is done there’s a finish coat that is a finish coat that’s put on the floor and at that point, it’s then packaged up and sent to its destination.”

Every court is shipped with a team of 125 employees who put the four by eight feet panels together once they arrive at the stadium or arena. Gasperich expressed that it’s an honor to have such a big role in this event every year.

“Having a very visible part in it is very exciting,” said Gasperich. “It’s something that all of us here are very proud of. It takes a team to pull this off and where excited every year to be a part of it.”

After the games are over, the winning team can purchase the court. If no one claims it, employees take the court back and it’s sold as a used floor.