Zero Gravity ranks Hampton complex eighth in the Northeast
By Jay Pinsonnault
Hampton Union, April 3, 2015
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON — When The Rim opened its doors for the first time in September 2013, the goal was to develop one of better state-of-the-art sports facilities in the region.
Less than 18 months later, it has, according to Zero Gravity.
Zero Gravity, one of the largest AAU basketball hosting tournament companies in the country and based out of Beverly, Mass., is currently ranking the top 20 basketball facilities in the Northeast and recently gave The Rim its No. 8 ranking.
“The Rim solidified its top tier position this last fall on Zero Gravity’s 'Path To The Belt' tournament,” said Brian Grossman, Zone Gravity’s director of basketball operations. “The Rim provides an elite competitive platform for playing five high-level games at once while comfortably fitting a crowd similar to that of Cameron Indoor. Zone Gravity can’t wait to get back to Hampton.”
Rim general manager Chris Coates was pleasantly surprised when he received word of the distinction in the middle of March.
“We take a lot of pride in our facility,” Coates said. “We have a great staff who works hard and makes sure the place is top notch. We want to provide a good experience for all the parents, kids and teams who come in here.
“We have two owners (Tom Viviano, Peter Maher) who run two successful businesses and they set the guidelines for what they expect,” said Coates, who helped lead the Winnacunnet High School basketball team to three Class L championship games, was named Little East Player of the Year and All-American at Keene State, and played several seasons of professional basketball overseas. “Zero Gravity are the big dogs out there for AAU basketball, and for them to rank us No. 8 in the Northeast, it’s pretty cool. We weren’t expecting it."
Viviano said the honor "justifies" why he and Maher opened the facility.
"We wanted a top-notch facility when we started this, and that has come true," Viviano said. "We have the best staff around and they helped facilitate this ranking. We feel honored and blessed. We've had our ups and downs along the way, but we have done things the right way. This recognition is a testament to that. I think we have exceeded our expectations, but you can always go better."
Zero Gravity is coming out each week with a new facility in its countdown to the best in the Northeast. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (No. 7) and Skidmore College (No. 6) have been named ahead of The Rim.
“I have been to those facilities,” Coates said. “And I don’t see a big difference between them and us except some of them have more courts than we do.”
Island Garden (New York), Brandeis University (Waltham, Mass.), U-Turn (Richmond, Va.) were ranked 11 through 9, respectively, just behind The Rim.
The Rim may have officially opened its doors in the fall of 2013, but plans for the 36,000-square-foot sports complex started long before.
“The owners thought there was a need for a facility like this in the area, especially because gym time is so tough,” Coates said. “The town warmed up to the idea and thought it would be great for the community as well. With anything, it takes time. Now that we are here, we just need continued support from the surrounding areas and we’ll be here for a long time.”