(Jason Schott – NY Sports Day)
“At last this day has come. The Nets are 100 percent a part of Brooklyn.”
That was how Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov kicked off the opening of the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) Training Center on Wednesday afternoon in the Industry City area of Brooklyn.
Prokhorov, who also owns Barclays Center, continued, “We have a lot to celebrate with the opening of the Hospital for Special Surgery Training Center. Just look at it, it’s beautiful. It’s a great combination of utility and real style. That’s the essence of the borough of the team…It will be with critical training tools for our players and play a very important role in the team’s core structure. I hope the players really love it and make it their own.”
“Our arena, our offices and now the HSS Training Center are all part of this great borough, including its vibrant Sunset Park community. Team training and player development are essential parts of our team’s core values and we look forward to building a winning culture on this stunning foundation.”
One of the best features, and something truly unique to the facility, is the panoramic view of the New York City skyline.
The Nets Basketball Operations Department has relocated from its practice facility in East Rutherford, NJ, which brings more than 40 full-time jobs to Brooklyn, completing the final step in moving the entire organization to the borough.
The privately funded training center occupies 70,000 square feet on the eighth floor and rooftop of a historic waterfront warehouse in Industry City, situated on 39th Street in the Sunset Park neighborhood, just one subway stop from Barclays Center,
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who hails from Park Slope, said, “I want to congratulate you because you make all of Brooklyn proud, the Nets mean so much to us. Ever since the Nets came to Brooklyn, this has been a real point of pride for Brooklyn and for all of New York City. I think for all the players and for everyone involved, I think you have a sense of what you mean to us, but I don’t know if you know the fullness of it because there’s been an amazing pride all over Brooklyn. You see the caps, you see the t-shirts, it has been something that has added to a sense of Brooklyn as an extraordinary place, a special place, a place that is getting better all the time, and that’s true for what the Nets have done for the whole city as well.
“With this new training center in Sunset Park, the Brooklyn Nets are now truly making Brooklyn their home. This facility will bring more than just Nets’ practices to Brooklyn – 40 new full-time jobs, youth basketball clinics, internships for young people and more will ensure this is a great addition for our communities,” said de Blasio.
The HSS Training Center boasts world-class amenities, which include two full basketball courts, a weight room, a training pool and two hydro pools, a rooftop entertainment space, an 18-seat multimedia theater, 3,000 square feet of hospitality/players’ lounge space, and a media interview/workroom. The exterior design, consisting of dark metal and a wide expanse of glass, is set against the interior finishes which combine an industrial vibe with softer natural materials to create a harmonious spa-like environment. The result is an overall design which celebrates Brooklyn’s gritty manufacturing history.
Irina Pavlova, President of Onexim Sports and Entertainment, the company through which Mikhail Prokhorov owns the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, played a big part in the construction of the Hospital for Special Services Training Center.
“HSS Training Center is the result of years of hard work and tremendous cooperation throughout the entire process. It gives us all great satisfaction to see the project come to life and we hope it will be a source of pleasure and positivity for the entire neighborhood,” said Pavolva.
Nets Center Brook Lopez called it the “best training center, no question, in the NBA. What player wouldn’t want to call HSS Training Center home?” This was a subtle nod to free agents like Kevin Durant of the amenities that this organization now possesses.
Lopez continued, “It’s first class all the way and turned out beautiful. You have to love the view, hopefully it won’t distract too much…This is my eighth season with the Nets, and after starting with Izod, moving to Prudential, finally getting to Barlcays, now having HSS Training Center built, we’re finally all in Brooklyn, so we can really say ‘Hello Brooklyn,'” quoting the team’s saying when the team moved from New Jersey.
Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment said, “The core pillars of our new facility are – Performance, Prevention, and Recovery – a powerful combination that both HSS and our team focus on to achieve success. HSS Training Center is about serving world-class athletes, while also making a difference in the borough as we utilize the facility to mentor and inspire young Brooklynites.”
The HSS Training Center will host youth basketball clinics, community events, and local business development functions. Additionally, the organization will offer internship and job shadow opportunities to students from Sunset Park, and will promote periodic job fairs at Barclays Center to Sunset Park residents.
HSS has had a close relationship with the Nets for more than 12 years, and has grown with the franchise as it moved from East Rutherford, NJ, to Newark, NJ, and to Brooklyn. Dr. Riley J. Williams, III, sports medicine surgeon at HSS, has served as the Brooklyn Nets’ Medical Director since the 2005-06 season and continues to serve in that function, as well as Head Team Physician for the team.
HSS, the Official Hospital of the Brooklyn Nets, has branding on the interior and exterior of the facility and the Nets practice jerseys feature the HSS logo. HSS is the leading orthopedic hospital in the nation, with a highly respected sports medicine service that is the largest and most active in the country. HSS specializes in working with high performing athletes, and is continuously advancing research and innovation in athletic injury prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.
“It’s exciting to see the HSS Training Center come to life after watching its transformation the past couple years,” said Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO of HSS. “We are proud of our long-standing relationship with the Nets organization, the players, and fans around the world.”
Construction on the HSS Training Center created 200 union jobs and began in the summer of 2014. MANICA was the design architect, New York City firm Mancini Duffy was the architect of record, and Gilbane served as the general contractor for the facility.