Larry Hughes Basketball Academy (LHBA), located in St. Louis, Missouri, is the first of its kind to establish a truly magnificent basketball training facility which utilizes state-of-the-art technology to help youth athletes excel in basketball as well as human beings. The technology used by LHBA is the same technology multiple NBA programs use within their own facilities. The “wow” factor comes from the system’s ability to track every player and every shot with absolute precision. Data can be retrieved that tells coaches who shot what, where, how high the ball went, speed, entry level, and so much more, giving coaches the ability to assist children beyond what the eyes can see. In addition, the LHBA program is crafted to promote education, responsibility, character, and self-confidence.
TSI was tasked with working closely alongside Kinexon and RSPCT in order to bridge the two tracking systems together. The power of this comes from Kinexon’s player tracking which pinpoints up to 50 athletes on the two-court floor through a fob and shot tracking technology which reverse engineers the final seconds of every shot to calculate every aspect of the shot. The systems then communicate to each other in a way accurately recognizes which player shot the ball, even when multiple people are shooting at the same time. The result is a plethora of statistics that are imported into each player’s individual scorecard in the data base. This reveals coachable elements and statistics for young athletes that even the most highly trained naked eye cannot detect, giving coaches the power to help athletes more efficiently. Additionally, LHBA wanted to have a dribbling simulator which uses a camera to track an individual dribbling a basketball to the instruction of a video game.
TSI’s first step in providing a seamless technology solution was to design a fully managed network system which could handle the communication for the Kinexon and RSPCT systems while also allowing for AV system control and building Internet usage. TSI selected Ubiquiti networking hardware for the building network infrastructure. The Ubiquiti gateway, network switches and access points allowed TSI to setup separate Virtual LANs (VLAN) and wireless networks with unique SSIDs all while utilizing a single network system. These features allowed the ability to provide staff and guests high performing Internet access while protecting the bandwidth required by Kinexon and RSPCT. Thanks to the strategic planning and coordination with Kinexon and RSPCT, TSI was able to install a networking infrastructure that was fully tested, certified and configured in advanced which shortened the installation and commissioning time required by the manufacturers. The final step was to develop an audio-visual system that would allow the shot and player statics from Kinexon and RSPCT to be displayed in real time through multiple zones. TSI installed six ceiling mounted displays near selected baskets which allow for the viewing of real time player and shot information for that basket. Display Shield TV enclosures from Protective Enclosures Company were used to protect the displays at the baskets. TSI also utilized TV Shield enclosures from Protective Enclosure Company for the displays placed at the dribbling simulator displays to protect the displays and systems from stray basketballs. A laser light source projector from Panasonic was installed in a Chief projector enclosure over the gym floor which allows the LHBA team to display weekly and daily session statistics as well as training materials to larger camps and special events. The AV system is controlled from a central user-friendly interface from Crestron Control Systems.