When former IPFW All-American Jay Golsteyn became general manager of the $7.5 million SportONE/Parkview Fieldhouse, he reached out to his former IPFW volleyball coach, Arnie Ball; former teammates; and classmates for help. Part of that included asking Ball's son, Olympic gold medalist Lloy Ball, for the use of his brand name, Team Pineapple.
“It's his trademark and his trademark shot,” Golsteyn said of the backcourt lob, “and we thought the Fort Wayne community could relate to that. We also thought he'd also get more involved if his mark was on it. He and Arnie have both backed us, and I don't think they would have done that if they didn't have the history with us and know that we'd teach the game the right way.”
The pineapple became Lloy Ball's logo when he developed a deep-court tip at the 1991 NCAA Tournament in Hawaii.
“When Jay first applied for this position, he wanted to start using Team Pineapple,” Ball said. “Up to that point, I'd been letting friends use it, but there was really no business plan to it. I don't look to make a dime off it, and never will, but I'm stoked that people who played for Dad want to continue his mentorship of young people.
“Right now we're putting together a licensing agreement, which doesn't cost the club anything to use my name, but allows me to come in here and do camps and clinics when I want. I think it's a great synergy.”
Ball and a group of former IPFW players trained at the facility in preparation for playing in the USA Volleyball Nationals in Louisville in May. The 57,000-square-foot building opened Dec. 20, and already Golsteyn has attracted more than 300 players to club programs and 100 beginners ages 5-11. There are nine full-time employees, mostly former IPFW players, and more than 40 coaches involved.
“People love the facility,” Golsteyn said. “It's probably the best in Indiana and maybe one of the top ones in the country. People are climbing out of the woodwork to come play here next year. We've got designs on a couple of different power leagues, and we're looking to bring seven or eight big tournaments here.
“From a volleyball standpoint, I think this is going to blow up. Our club teams are at 27 teams, and if things went extremely well, I think we could be at 40 teams next year.”
Besides volleyball, basketball and indoor soccer programs are also starting up.
The facility includes eight volleyball courts, six basketball courts and four outdoor sand courts. A mezzanine level is home of Athlete's With Purpose training program.