AMASA, Mich. - When basketball is played during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, take a close look at the floors it's being played on because it should give you a little Michigan pride.
The six basketball courts for both the men and women's' Olympic teams were made by employees at the Connor Sports mill in Amasa, Mich.
"The line workers and in the offices, the quality control guys everyone looks at that and says 'Hey I built that, that's from up here in Michigan,'" Andrew Gettig, vice president of international business for Connor Sports, said.
Connor Sports has built courts for 14 NBA, dozens of universities, the Final Four and now the 2016 Olympics.
"We were competing against companies from Europe, to U.S., Canada and Asia, and in the end, they chose us," Gettig said. "I think everyone is kind of smiling and beaming a little bit, thinking that, in our industry, we won a gold medal."
The employees in Amasa mill the wood and build the courts which are then shipped to Praters Flooring in Chattanooga, Tenn to be painted and sealed before moving on to the final destination of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The courts are portable, but must have all the same characteristics of a permanent court.
"What you might not be able to tell by looking at the court in Rio is, these are portable courts. So they need to have all those elite characteristics for safety, for shock absorption," Andrew Gettig said, "So it's not too grippy, and not slippery, but they also need to be able to pick it up and put it down again."
Even the trees used to make the hardwood is pure Michigan.
"They're a special kind of maple. They grow. The rings are very dense, so it's very strong while still having flexibility for these athletes to have some of the force absorbed when they are jumping up and down and running up and down the courts," Gettig said.
For more information on Connor Sports, click here.
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