San Antonio Spurs forward and Baltimore native Rudy Gay has found an investment that hits close to home.
Later this year, the Archbishop Spalding graduate, a 15-year NBA veteran, will open a basketball-focused gym in the Baltimore area in conjunction with California-based PickUp USA Fitness. He also bought a franchise in Florida.
PickUp USA Fitness was founded in 2012 and has five locations with seven more on the way. The full-service fitness club specializes in basketball with its main attraction being regulated pick-up games with referees. In addition, the club offers basketball training sessions (both group and private) and weight training/cardio rooms.
Jordan Meinster, the company’s founder and president, who was born in Baltimore and still has family in the area, said PickUp USA is still seeking an ideal location, likely in Baltimore City, Baltimore County or Anne Arundel County with tentative plans to open sometime in the summer. While the markets vary, a basic membership costs between $50-60 per month with premium memberships in the $80-90 range. A presale before the grand opening will enable customers to lock in lower prices. While most of the members at other locations range from 25 to 40 years old, Meinster said some locations have children as young as 5 and adults as old as 80.
Gay, who started his high school career at Eastern Tech, is excited about delivering a product to his hometown that provides a benefit for all ages.
"It's a chance for me to have something in my name in the city where I was raised,” he said in a written statement. "Basketball keeps kids engaged. It's a good way to keep them off the street. I think that's why it's been important for me.”
Meinster is pleased to have Gay on board.
“We’ve been operating for seven years and we’ve got locations across the country, so we’re certainly not a start up. But once you get somebody like Rudy on board, [it’s huge],” he said. “And as he said in an earlier press release, it’s not just something he’s investing in, but he’s going to be a part of it, he’s going to be there working out and doing the training and being among the people. So when you have one of the greatest basketball players out there who’s actually using the product and believes in it, it’s great validation.”
A big selling point to Gay is how the gym offers a daily routine that can mirror his as an NBA player.
"I like the fact that it gives people the chance to do what I do — have organized basketball, and organized training, and weight training. All things I do on a daily basis," he said in the release.
Gay, The Baltimore Sun’s 2003-04 co-All Metro Player of the Year after his senior year at Spalding, continues to make a positive impact in his hometown.