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The Virginian-Pilot(Norfolk, VA.)

Many of us can remember when some of the best high school basketball ever was played in a little gymnasium on Portsmouth Boulevard.

That goes back a half century when Frederick Military Academy was established. It operated until 1985.

Its basketball teams were so talented that even the legendary Adolph Rupp, the Hall of Fame coach at the University of Kentucky, came here to recruit.

Well, basketballs will be bouncing again soon on a renovated court in that same building.

City Council voted earlier this month to buy the 30-acre former academy facility and build a multipurpose recreation and athletic complex. In recent years it housed The Pines, a residential treatment center for troubled children.

City manager John Rowe said the gym and adjacent athletic fields will be ready for use before the end of the summer. When everything is completed, recreation in that area of the city will get a nearly $6 million transfusion.

The city is paying $3.75 million to United Health Services and plans to put $2 million more into renovations. The site has outdoor basketball and tennis courts, baseball and softball fields and an indoor pool. An Olympic-size pool is on the agenda.

This should be especially pleasing to those in the Truxtun area who had been pushing for a recreation center on vacant land just a few blocks from this site.

Mayor Kenny Wright suggests "Southside Recreation Complex" as a name for the facility as it will be serving several areas on the southside of Portsmouth.

Giles successor panel Interviews have been held by a five-member panel to select a successor to Andy Giles as director of golf at Bide-A-Wee and The Links at City Park.

Deputy City Manager Nita Mensia-Joseph heads the group. She said the position will be filled by Tuesday.

Giles has accepted a position with Virginia Beach Golf Management, which manages Kempsville Greens and Red Wing in Virginia Beach.

A few weeks back, I mentioned that a group of three manages the Beach courses and the Suffolk Golf Course. Well, that's not quite right. Eddie Luke, one of the three, is the sole operator at Suffolk. He has been the pro there for eight years and leases the course from the city of Portsmouth. His company is LEL Golf Management.

Foundation elects officers The Portsmouth Sports Foundation, the scholarship wing of the Portsmouth Sports Club, has elected its officers and board of directors for the year. Todd Rose, who succeeded Roland "Bucky" Dodson as president last year, is returning as president.

Other officers are Jim Short, vice president; Bill Kline, secretary; and Gene Luke, treasurer.

Next month Short, an attorney, also will become president of the Sports Club. He has long been active in the city's sports programs and served for 10 years as a coach in the Manor Youth Basketball League.


June 29, 2014


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