Player offers to start local hoops league

GLOVERSVILLE – When Harley Fuller isn’t playing basketball professionally in Argentina, he is trying to make a difference in the community he grew up in.

Fuller spoke to the city Board of Education on Monday about starting a summer basketball league at Darling Field. He also offered to replace the rims and nets on the courts.

He said he has held youth basketball camps over the last three years. He said they attracted more than 200 youths.

Fuller said he would like to start three summer leagues, including six teams each for men ages 18 and older, girls in sixth to eighth grade, and boys in sixth to eighth grade. The leagues would take place Monday through Wednesday.

He said he is back home until around October, but has been planning the Upstate Elite Basketball League during his free time overseas.

“The city and school district would have to pay nothing whatsoever because all of my activities are fully insured, so the school district wouldn’t be liable for anything,” Fuller said. “I would also like to change the rims on the court out of my own pocket.”

He said he would make a $500 donation toward the district’s athletic department if the district allows the league. He said he wants to buy either a permanent or mobile electronic scoreboard for the league.

Fuller said each player would be charged $50 to cover the general expenses such as purchasing the jerseys, hiring certified officials and covering the insurance.

He said he wouldn’t make a profit the first year of the league and he wants to keep the cost low to allow more members of the community to participate.

“Financial gain is not the reason for this; youth development is something that is a priority in my life,” Fuller said.

“It is good that you want to do something for the community and you presented this to us, but we have to make sure you are fully insured,” Superintendent Michael Vanyo said. “If it is going to benefit our kids, this looks like it could be a good start to partner with the city.”

The Board of Education will work with the city to determine who is responsible for the Darling Field court and determine if allowing a summer league is OK.

Assistant Superintendent Steven Schloicka said there may be restrictions in the deed that would prevent the property from being used for profit.

The board authorized Schloicka to work with Fuller on the details. If approved, the use of the court would be allowed for the $500 donation.

“There are weeds growing on the court and they are not being used right now,” board member Mike Hauser said.

Vanyo suggested Fuller fill out a building-use form.

“It has always been fuzzy as to who owns what, who mows what, and who has rights to what,” board President Pete Semione said during the meeting. “We will work on figuring that out.”

“I’m 100 percent sure [the city doesn’t] own the courts,” said Mayor Dayton King.

The city assessor, Joni Dennie, said according to city records, the basketball courts, parking area, bus garage and fields are owned by the school district, while the tennis courts are owned by the city.

King said he will propose to the Common Council next week to have the Department of Public Works repair some areas of the court that have large cracks or holes and repaint the lines.