Much like the path of each winning team in the Final Four tournament, the flooring from which the players shoot and score takes quite a journey. This year, Timber Products Company and our Munising, Mich. mill was pleased to partner with Connor Sports Flooring and the NCAA to cut, ship and build the basketball courts for both the Men’s and Women’s Final Four games.
“Timber Products has been a valued supplier of quality hard maple lumber over the last 25-plus years,” said Conrad Stromberg, Amasa, Mich. plant manager for Connor Sports. “This lumber has been used for basketball court installations in more than 50 countries around the world. Connor Sports was proud to partner with Timber Products again this year to supply two beautiful championship courts for the NCAA’s Men’s and Women’s Final Four floors.”
For NCAA games, as well as many other university or professional venues where two sports are played at once, Connor Sports provides a unique portable flooring. These 4x8 strips can transform a hockey rink into a basketball court in one day to keep the action moving.
Since Connor Sports won its first contract with the NCAA in 2006, the company has built a solid relationship with them. The manufacturer has provided around 22 floors for the association over the last five years. “We have an ongoing relationship and contract with the NCAA that’s based on the quality of our floors, the service that we deliver and our ability to get the floors in on time without a hitch,” said Stromberg.
The first step of this journey began last year when foresters with Nature Conservancy harvested 500 maples that were then delivered to Timber Products Company. From Timber Products’ plants, the hardwood lumber was shipped to Connor’s Amasa, Mich. mill. In Amasa, flooring strips were produced and numbered before traveling to Connor’s finishing facilities. There, technicians put the floor down, sanded it, applied two coats of seal, painted the lines and logos, added two coats of finish and let it cure. Within four weeks, the flooring was shipped for final installation at the game venues.
Connor’s work did not stop there. The company has technicians who both install and remove the floors. “They really enjoy doing it, as they get to stay at the tournament and make sure the game is going well,” said Stromberg.
After the games have ended, the champion team has the option of purchasing the floor. Otherwise, floors are returned to Connor, where they are sanded, refinished and sold as used flooring. A college or pro team looking for a bargain can get a new floor that has a proven history of supporting winners.