The Practice Facility offers basketball instruction to kids

The Practice Facility has reclaimed an old NBA floor from the Los Angeles Clippers. Little more than a decade after graduating from Oregon State University, Josiah Lake actually put his senior thesis into practice.

In 2001, he drafted a business plan for a facility that would serve as an all-in-one gym focused on basketball, where kids could polish their game — what Lake describes as “a simple idea, complex to execute.”

The result is The Practice Facility, which opened last week with its first basketball camp. The 15,000-square-foot location includes a full-size NBA court, two smaller practice courts, six practice basketball hoops and a 1,300-square-foot turf training area.

For more information about the gym and its programs, visit

“We want to create opportunities for both boys and girls to improve their games,” Lake explained.

Lake, who played basketball for the Beavers, never strayed far from the sport. He spent the past 11 years working for Nike’s Jordan Brand division, most recently as global director of Jordan Footwear. During that time, Lake had also been training young athletes and participating in clinics, and has been active with the Tigard Youth Competitive Program. His focus has been more on individual, rather than team, coaching.

He realized he didn’t need to separate the two, necessarily.

Jazzy Brown takes a shot at the hoop against her sister Gabby Brown at the new Practice Facility in Tigard. “I had one parent tell me that when she wants her kid to work on his shots, he comes to me,” Lake said, “but for speed and agility, he’d go to a different business” and finally, join a team in order to get more experience. That made Lake realize he’d been onto something with his college-era idea.

“You can bring everything under one roof,” he said. “And we can give a better price because you can bundle services.”

The gym offers skill circuits, classes in shooting or dribbling, and access to shooting machines daily, with seasonal teams and development camps, as well as private instruction by appointment.

Although Lake is the Facility’s sole owner, he is supported by top-notch talent, he said.

“The number one goal for me was bringing guys on who can communicate the game to kids,” he said, “and can articulate, can explain it in a way that kids both understand it, and trust what they’re being told. That’s one of the biggest assets of the guys I try to surround myself with.”

The Facility is also putting together its own Amateur Athletic Union program, called the Fly Guys. Monthly memberships range from $60 to $250.

Children took advantage of Saturdays open house at the Practice Facility in Tigard to shoot hoops. 
For the time being, Lake says his focus is on getting boys and girls from the community into weekly camps.

“We let them come in and see the space, get a feel for how we coach, how we train kids,” he said.

That includes three-hour camps for elementary school-aged athletes, and four-hour camps for high school students. The four-hour curriculum is fairly rigorous, and includes an hour of skills, an hour with a shooting machine, an hour of scrimmages and an hour of speed and agility drills.

“It really gives them a chance to work on the four components to help them improve,” he said.

Curriculum shifts in August, when The Practice Facility offers more camps focused on offense skills. Enrollment is capped at 40 kids per camp to ensure a closer level of engagement for all the participants. In the Facility’s first couple weeks, Lake says they have seen an average enrollment of about 25 kids per camp.

“We’re a little bit in trial mode now,” Lake added, “and we’re using the camps to let people experience what we’ve got to offer.”

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