The Colmar Manor Town Council jumped through hoops to help out a recreational basketball team.
Four members of the Mount Rainier-based Titans attended the Nov. 12 council meeting requesting use of the town’s gymnasium as they were searching for an indoor venue to hold evening practices.
“We used to [practice] outside because the league was in the summer,” said Titans Team Manager Richard Cuello. “We want to find a facility to have some practice during the week.”
The basketball team, consisting of around 10 players, hopes to use the gym at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday nights, Cuello said.
The gym is located in the basement of the three-year-old Town Hall and community center, a nearly $6 million facility that includes a full-size indoor basketball court.
Since opening in 2010, the community center has been in high demand, said Town Secretary Kayla Cooper, who manages the rental schedule. But rental requests usually come from residents of Colmar Manor or its fellow Port Towns communities of Bladensburg, Cottage City and Edmonston, which typically reserve the building during normal business hours, she said.
“It was kind of unusual for them to want it after hours,” Cooper said.
Hiring a staff member to stay late and supervise would cost the team around $200 a week, said Colmar Manor Clerk-Treasurer Daniel Baden.
Council members heard testimony from Titans team members before agreeing to allow the use provided the team practice unsupervised and submit liability insurance and undergo background checks, Baden said.
“We’re trying to help them out. They want a place to play, we don’t have staff the hours that they want to be in here, so we’ll try to work with them,” he said.
As nonresidents, team members will still have to pay the $50-per-hour facility rental fee, which Baden said the council is unlikely to reduce.
But the compromise is not a slam dunk for Titans team member Carlos Nunez.
“If you do the math, it’s too much money really,” he said. “We didn’t think it was going to be that expensive.”
The Titans do not currently have a sponsor, so the money would come from the players’ pockets, Cuello said.
Nunez said he would like to work with Colmar Manor and the council’s offer.
“We’ll communicate with the rest of the team and see what we come up with,” he said. “To win, you have to practice.”