Old Run N' Shoot Redeveloped Under New Management
Prince George's County lost one of its most popular sports facilities last year when the Run N' Shoot Athletic Center shut down because of financial difficulty spurred by a high crime rate in the neighborhood.
The 10-court center in District Heights was home court to two minor league basketball teams and drew amateur basketball tournaments, local teenage players and NBA stars. Its closing left a hole in the community, players and coaches said at the time.
In stepped Fairfax businessman Rodney Hunt, who has taken on the project of redeveloping the sports center. Hunt grew up in Fort Washington playing basketball and baseball at Friendly High School before attending Cornell University and later helping to start RS Information Systems, a McLean-based government contractor that is one of the largest black-owned businesses in the region.
Staff writer Krissah Williams spoke with him about his investment in the old Run N' Shoot and plans for the facility.
Q You have changed the name of the center from the Run N' Shoot to the Capital Sports Complex. What other changes have you made to the 113,000-square-foot basketball facility?
AWe put $950,000 into the redevelopment. We've improved the ability to host tournaments by installing automatic net dividers, better signage and improving the lobby. We purchased new equipment because Bank of America had a lien on some of the [old] equipment. We put in new bathrooms and team rooms. We renovated the kitchen and store, and we are trying to get national retailers to come in. In the back area, we are putting in a learning center and party rooms and an arcade to make it a local community center. We have also renovated the aerobics area and put in brand-new floors.
We have also created a VIP workout area where athletes from the Washington Redskins, Washington Nationals or Washington Wizards can come and work out. They would work out there before, but they couldn't do it in private. Now we have two walled-off courts. They can come in and say hi to the kids and then work out in a private area. [The VIP] area is just like being in a locker room for a professional team, we have deep Jacuzzis [and other amenities].
What prompted you to buy and redevelop the Run N' Shoot?
I was disappointed that it wasn't successful. It is the only 10-court basketball facility of its kind in a 100-mile radius. Where else can you have a tournament? I am the managing partner of Virginia Pride Basketball, a traveling AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] team. We all struggle for practice space, and middle schools and high schools have their own teams so you cannot always use their space. I've seen some teams have to practice outside.
What effect will the redevelopment of this basketball facility have on Prince George's County?
I have a soft spot in my heart for the county. Prince George's is really growing and prospering. There is a lot of economic growth. This will create jobs, and it will also be great for the community. I want to bring in the government so that they can see what we are doing for the community. We want it to be a mainstay in District Heights and Prince George's County to keep kids off the streets.
When we were doing the construction -- before we were open -- people were driving by saying, "When are you going to open?"