By Rich Winter
As the Sacred Hoops family grows this summer, one of the building blocks is already in place. Sacred Hoops and the Barn Burner Basketball Academy, from the Reede Barn in Aberdeen, are collaborating this summer.
And kids, parents and teams from northeast South Dakota and southeast North Dakota couldn’t be happier.
Nathan Reede, Owner of the Reede Barn in Aberdeen said the Barn Burner Basketball Academy has six AAU boys’ teams and four AAU girls teams. At the first tournament in Omaha, Reede marveled as kids and families from two states and a wide geographical region came together for their first tournament.
“We had families from Ellendale (North Dakota), Onida, Mobridge and Aberdeen that played together,” Reede Said.
A veteran of the AAU circuit, having followed his kids for the last six seasons, Reede found it interesting how some families who had never been to Omaha soaked it up and fit right in.
“The 14-U squad looked like a swarm of bees at the gym and the hotel the first day,” Reede said. “Some of these kids have never experienced playing in this environment and it was fun to see the kids and the parents getting to know each other and start making those memories together.”
Having never seen the Reede Barn, one might envision a big, red, community building where basketball goes down in a Hoosiers like atmosphere.
About the time soon-to-be graduated Aberdeen Rascally senior, Gus Reede decided he wanted to work more on his game, a plan was hatched.
“Gus fell in love with the game and early on he was kind of un-athletic and a little goofy,” Nathan Reede said. “He would always try to find a court and the YMCA court-time was full and the high school wasn’t always open.”
So, the elder Reede turned some of the extra storage space from his company, Reede Construction, and made it a hoop-haven in northeast South Dakota.
While the barn was initially used just for Gus Reede and his three siblings, Augustus, Maxwell and Reagan and their friends, it didn’t take long for the word to spread, and for other kids in rural South Dakota to start showing up at the Barn.
“I guess the BARN is from the Minnesota Gopher’s home court, and my dad had a garage/hoop growing up in in North Dakota,” Nathan Reede said.
While it took a few years, Reede Barn has improved its facilities, adding on locker rooms, getting wood floors and now it even has a full-fledged weight room.
“The barn has changed a lot, and in my humble opinion it has been a blessing to allow a lot of kids from South Dakota to work on their games.
This summer, the Barn-Burner boys’ teams will be working with Aberdeen Rascally coach, Brian Dolan. Also in the fold is Clark/Willow Lakes, Jerome Nesheim, who just helped the Cyclones to a 2nd-place finish at the South Dakota Class B tournament.
The fledgling facility is now a Basketball Academy that supports and trains ten basketball teams and one volleyball team.
“At any given moment we could have about 200 athletes coming through here every week,” Reede said.
At the recent tournament in Omaha, Nathan Reede, who played tennis collegiately at Southern Illinois, ventured to the bench to offer mostly to be supportive.
After watching Bertram work with Gus for the last six years, Reede is excited for the fledgling Barn-Burner teams that are just beginning their AAU- experience.
“To be successful, kids will need to learn how to meet new friends and they will see some sites, like 250 teams competing in a single weekend tournament,” Reede said. “It’s fun to be a parent and meet new people. This game teaches crazy life skills that will carry on long after basketball is over.