When NBA Academy Africa, in partnership with the SEED Project, needed a sports facility to train young players and find the next professional basketball superstar, they knew to turn to Big Top Fabric Structures. We designed and built a first-class sports facility – the first of its kind in Africa – where young athletes receive high-quality education and NBA-level training to become the next generation of leaders.
The SEED Project – Developing Young African Leaders Through Sports & Education
The SEED Project (Sports for Education and Economic Development) is a non-profit organization based in Senegal that uses basketball as a way to teach young Africans valuable life and vocational skills to prepare for a successful future, and the results have been stunning – 92 percent of SEED students secure a job or matriculate to university upon graduating from the program. Perhaps its most well-known success story is that of Gorgui Dieng, a Senegalese athlete who went on to secure a multi-million dollar contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
How We Custom-Designed a State-of-the-Art Sports Facility
When Big Top was first approached about this project, we were beyond excited to step up to the challenge of designing not just an enclosed basketball court, but an entire training facility. The versatile nature of our fabric structures allowed us to meet this challenge. For instance, we included the following in the design:
- Repurposed shipping containers – By anchoring the building to shipping containers, we were able to provide an economical alternative to pouring a concrete foundation. The shipping containers were then repurposed into locker rooms, bathrooms, a weight room, educational centers, conference rooms, and dormitories, saving on costs that would have been needed to build out each of these rooms separately.
- Ventilation package – Thanks to the thermal-reflective nature of our buildings, the interior of the facility maintains a comfortable temperature that is on average 15 degrees cooler than the hot Senegalese climate outside. For added climate control, we included exhaust fans and motorized louvre vents in the design, ensuring a cool training environment free of expensive HVAC systems.
- Translucent roof – The fabric roof of NBA Academy Africa’s training facility floods the interior with natural light, eliminating the need for artificial lighting and the energy expenses that come with it.
A Bright Future for Africa’s Youth
At Big Top, we couldn’t be more proud of our involvement with this project. The state-of-the-art sports training and educational facility that we designed and built for NBA Academy Africa and the SEED Project will be a haven for Africa’s youths for years to come, providing a place for students to further their education, athleticism, and life skills to better their future. As Amadou Gallo Fall, vice president of NBA Africa, said, “This facility will provide aspiring players from across the continent with state-of-the-art courts and training equipment, under the tutelage of our NBA coaches and our world-class academic staff.”
If you’d like to learn more about our custom fabric structures, contact Big Top today. We have had numerous success stories just like this since our founding in 1979.