Students Christen ‘The Shipyard,’  Blair’s New Outdoor Basketball Court
Adele Starrs

Teachers, coaches and students bedecked in sweatshirts and blue-and-white jerseys gathered on the thick grass of Blair’s athletic fields on Tuesday, November 9, joining Head of School Peter G. Curran and Director of Athletics Paul Clavel ’88 to celebrate the dedication of Blair’s newly constructed outdoor basketball court. 

Standing before the crowd and the crisp new court, Mr. Clavel said he was excited about this addition to Blair’s sports complex, which will afford the entire community greater opportunity to sharpen their athletic skills and stay active. Students will be able to play a quick game or just shoot the ball with friends. “One takeaway from the pandemic is that students really enjoy playing basketball outside,” Mr. Clavel noted before the event. “I am delighted that we’ve added this court to Blair’s athletic complex.”  
With its open accessibility and outdoor lights, “The court makes it easy for students to play pickup games, and those are indispensable for building basketball skills and confidence in young athletes,” Mr. Clavel offered.

 Located next to the Siegel Property in the far corner of Blair’s athletic fields, the court is the result of the generosity of two anonymous donors, whose only request was that Blair students name the court. To that end, Blair created a March Madness–style bracket last year and the entire school voted, every three days, until a winning name emerged.  

“The Shipyard it is!” Associate Dean of Students Rod Gerdsen said before the event. “I can’t believe ‘the Thunderdome’ didn’t make it!” he joked. 

Tuesday’s celebration ended as representatives from each student class council took to the new court, facing off to determine the ultimate “Knockout” champion and claim bragging rights before digging into cider donuts and iced coffee.

Now the only March Madness brackets will be for students’ outdoor tournaments on their new favorite court. Open daily for the enjoyment of all members of the Blair community, The Shipyard is lined with three pickleball courts as well as a basketball court. Community members are welcome to play as often as they like; court time does not need to be reserved. 

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