Nets celebrate opening of Sunset Park practice facility

The Nets are finally all in on Brooklyn.

On Wednesday, February 17, the team’s Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) Training Center, at 168 39th Street in Industry City, officially opened its doors to players and the public. Owner of the Nets and Barclay Center Mikhail Prokhorov was joined by Mayor Bill de Blasio, players, team management, elected officials and others to celebrate the opening of the 70,000-square-foot facility, which is described as state-of-the-art.

Although the franchise moved from New Jersey to the Barclays Center in 2012 and announced plans for the new facility nearly two years ago, until now the Nets had continued to practice at their now-former facility in East Rutherford.

Attendees discussed the importance of having the team’s entire operation in Brooklyn. “The fact that it’s 100 percent Brooklyn means more,” said de Blasio. “This facility is absolutely beautiful. It’s amazing. And this view, any New Yorker who comes here is going to feel instant pride.”

The privately funded space is on the eighth floor of a waterfront warehouse and is just one train stop away from Barclays Center. The league’s newest facility includes numerous amenities, such as two basketball courts, a weight room, a training pool, a sizable theater, 3,000 square feet of players’ lounge space, as well as a rooftop entertainment space.

IMG_2221“We have a lot to celebrate,” said Prokhorov. “It’s beautiful. It has great style and it gives the players a state-of-the-art training facility that is both comfortable and functional. I hope the players will really love it and make it their own.”

Nets center Brook Lopez, who participated in the first practice later that day, was impressed. “It’s like coming to a new school,” he observed. “Everything is new and different and you are figuring out your routine. It’s going to be home for us as well. You have to love the view. Hopefully it doesn’t distract too much from the practices.”

The franchise emphasized the importance of contributing to the Sunset Park community, whether it is job opportunities or hosting events for local youngsters.

“From day one, we have always wanted to play a very positive role for the community,” Prokhorov said. “We will be using [the facility] for public services, like business networking and of course for sports clinics. It will provide job training internships and of course promote local businesses.”

According to the team, the facility will bring more than 40 full time jobs after creating 200 union jobs during construction.

“This will connect people to the Nets. It will give a new option in this incredible Sunset Park community for people to do great and special things,” de Blasio said. “What’s happening in Sunset is amazing. This facility is a flagship for everything that is happening in Industry City, the investments we’re making at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, incredible and cutting-edge businesses tech and fashion coming into this area.”


Community Board 7 District Manager Jeremy Laufer sees potential in the space. “I think it’s a very prestigious facility. What a difference from about 18 months ago,” he said. “It’s exciting that this community is getting something so visible and we wish them the best of luck and success. I hope they become an integral part of our entire community.”

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