Basketball coach shares backyard court with students

Mitch Sundquist, Staff Writer

Out in Stilwell, just beyond 199th street, there lies a court.
On the brick that surrounds the court, there is a message painted.
“Play hard or go home.”
The court belongs to Blue Valley boy’s sophomore basketball coach Gary Lindsay, who attended and played basketball at Blue Valley from 1973-1977.
Lindsay decided to build the court after one of his longtime friends sold his house. Lindsay and others had gathered there to play basketball every week.
“When Ed sold his house over there we were all kind of sad because we had played over there every Wednesday and Saturday for probably ten years,” Lindsay said. “It was a place for us older guys to gather and play.”
Lindsay said the court started out as a dream of his, but it came to reality once it was finished six years ago.
“I had the dream for probably five to ten years, and then finally I convinced [my wife] to let me build the court,” he said.
The court was built by Sport Court, a company that specializes in designing and building outdoor courts.
Lindsay said he is pleased about how his court has been treated over the years, although he has had a few problems.
“A lot of the kids in the neighborhood use the court, and most of the time they’re pretty good with it,” he said. “Sometimes we have to scold them if they leave any trash out or leave any of the balls out.”
One of the unique aspects of the court is the lights, which happen to be Lindsay’s favorite feature. Lindsay said he has had to work on the lights over the years.
“I had some lights that I kept having trouble with them going out. Those were halogen lights,” he said. “But these are monster lights. They’re kind of a gas light where they come on slow, but they light it up pretty well.”
Lindsay’s court is open to all who wish to play there, and he allows students to play whenever they please, even late into the night.
Junior Jalen Fulce began playing at Lindsay’s over Thanksgiving break.
“[Junior] Brandon Botts invited me one day,” he said. “I had always heard about ‘Lindsay Ball’, but I never really wanted to drive out to Stilwell. It was well worth the drive.”
Fulce said he continues to play at Lindsay’s because it is a place where he can go to enjoy the game.
He also enjoys playing with his friends and the intensity of the games.
“Once the games get intense and taken seriously, they are exciting,” he said. “You play for [reputation] at Lindsay’s.”
Senior Garrett Mann also regularly plays at Lindsay’s court. Mann started playing during the summer last year and said the games are very competitive.
“They are usually very competitive and hard-fought because you want to win,” he said. “Sometimes we go out just to shoot and have fun, but a majority of the time it is very competitive. There are usually a couple fights here and there and people getting mad at each other, but it’s just in the heat of the moment.”
Although Mann has only talked to Lindsey a couple times, he said Lindsay is a great man, and he appreciates the opportunity Lindsay has provided to students.
“I think it’s cool that he built something awesome and allows kids to have a great time,” he said. “It’s cool that he trusts kids to use the court properly and not abuse the facility. It’s just a great place to go play some basketball, and it’s awesome that there is something like that.”
As a basketball player for BV, Fulce has spent more time with Lindsay and said he thinks very highly of him.
“I’ve never seen anyone with the same amount of passion for basketball as Coach Lindsay,” Fulce said. “I think it’s great that he lets kids play, get better and compete.”
Lindsay said he is happy with his decision to build the court because it gives him the opportunity to play the game he enjoys.
“It’s a game that I love and have a passion for, but I can’t play it like I used to,” he said. “I’m glad that I did it. I wish that I could have afforded it when I was younger. But it’s still a great a feeling to be out there at night, under the lights and just shoot around.”