Brian Hoffman knows basketball.
And he wants to pass that knowledge on to anyone interested.
Hoffman is leaving teaching after 13 years with Gretna Public Schools to open a permanent home for Hoffman’s Hoops Academy just off the corner of Highway 370 and Highway 31. He’s having an open house of his new facility Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“One of my goals has always been to be a full-time coach,” he said. “This gives me a chance to work with players who are just trying to learn how to play the game of basketball. It gives me a chance to help them fuel their passion for the game.”
Hoffman’s new facility is set up with some of the best technology available for learning the game of basketball. Three of the hoops are monitored with sensors for real-time feedback of shot angle and depth. Hoffman also has some special basketballs that provide information on a player’s dribbling and ball handling.
All these gadgets help players become more effective on the court.
“Those kids who are in middle school who already have a passion for basketball can take their games to the next level,” Hoffman said. “We can help high school players who have that dream of playing in college and help college players reach that goal of playing professionally. It gives me an avenue to work with every kid from every age.
“That’s always been a goal of mine.”
Along with hoops spaced out on the walls of the facility, Hoffman has three hoops down the center of the building for a full court plus one. The center hoop can be raised for full court games. Three-point lines are painted in for high school, college and even NBA.
That’s because Hoffman works with players like Creighton’s Doug McDermott to improve their game, even at the highest level.
Along with all the space for basketball is a player’s lounge where players can break down game film or watch video of their last practice session for pointers.
Hoffman said the building, which sits just behind Alegent Creighton Health on the north side of 370, was the perfect fit to start his business.
“When I walked into this building, I saw the potential of what could happen with a full court that breaks down into smaller half courts to maximize the space,” he said. “This facility allows me to do this on a full-time basis instead of having to fight for gym time or gym hours anywhere else.”
While camps and player development are his primary focus, Hoffman’s Hoops Academy will offer memberships for open gym time along with tournaments, basketball leagues for adults, high schoolers and middle schoolers and even rental opportunities for volleyball teams.
Hoffman had volleyball lines painted in and the anchors for the volleyball standards installed as well.
But the most important thing for him was location.
“The great thing is I get to stay in Gretna,” he said. “Teaching here for the last 13 years and being able to leave the teaching profession but stay in the community is something I’m really excited about. I love this community and love this town.
“I love the passion they have for basketball as well. It’s just a great fit.”