FULTON — Sean Broderick received an assist from Jim and Juli Boeheim to score a slam dunk for his fellow community members in and around Fulton.
The Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation recently awarded a $50,000 grant to Fulton Community Basketball for the construction of a new area outdoor activity facility.
The new community engagement center will be called the “Fulton Dream Courts,” and feature basketball, tennis, and pickleball courts aimed at offering a variety of options in a safe and inclusive environment for all ages.
“We’re calling these the ‘Dream Courts,’ because I want our kids to be able to dream big and understand that if coach (Jim) and Juli Boeheim are going to make, not only such a monetary donation, but all the support they’ve given, then I think as a community, we can dream that really we can do anything in Fulton,” said Broderick, who initiated and will oversee the project.
The groundbreaking for the new facility aimed at providing sustainable youth programming is expected to begin early next spring with the initial goal to be fully operating next summer, at some point in June or July, per Broderick.
The facility will be scheduled and supervised so younger kids throughout the area will know the timeframe they can arrive for respective activities, and high school-aged students will have windows for their ventures.
Broderick, who leads the Fulton Community Basketball program and is the head coach for the Red Raiders varsity boys basketball team, said that he envisions a student-led operation that allows kids of all ages to feel comfortable knowing they will get to participate while parents can feel safe leaving them.
“We are thrilled to support this worthy project that will serve the Fulton community in such a positive way,” Jim and Juli Boeheim expressed in a written statement.
“There is no one better than Sean Broderick to head this initiative. We have known Sean for several years and have seen his heart to serve others first-hand. Our communities are fortunate to have his support and vision of the Fulton Dream Courts that will bless those it serves.”
Broderick, a Fulton native and resident, said he began brainstorming the concept when he first started as a junior varsity coach and youth program director about eight years ago.
He has frequently attended the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation’s annual Basket Ball gala, participated in multiple Syracuse University men’s basketball fantasy camps operated by head coach, Jim Boeheim, and has regularly attended Orange practices.
Broderick first pitched the idea to Juli Boeheim nearly two years ago and said the timing worked out in their latest round of grants to kickstart the project.
The ‘Fulton Dream Courts,’ fall under part of the mission of the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation to enrich the lives of kids in need throughout Syracuse and surrounding areas.
“We are grateful and humbled that they saw our vision,” Broderick said. “I think we are fortunate that our mission is aligned in many ways with the Boeheim Foundation, so for someone like Jim and Juli Boeheim to invest $50,000, a significant grant into the Fulton community, should really make us all feel grateful.”
Broderick and Juli Boeheim are each on the board of directors for Arc of Onondaga, while Broderick also serves on the board for the area YMCA and Catholic Charities of Oswego.
He discussed being inspired by Juli Boeheim’s charity work in recent years after admiring Jim Boeheim growing up as an avid basketball fan.
Broderick said he gained an instant fondness for SU men’s basketball after attending Jim Boeheim’s summer camp around age 12. He has since looked to Boeheim as a role model in coaching and has attempted to build his program much like the Hall of Fame coach.
All of Broderick’s assistant coaches are Fulton alumni, just as Boeheim’s staff contains graduates of Syracuse.
“I’ve been in awe, a fan, and an admirer of coach Boeheim for more than 40 years,” Broderick said.
“It’s just such a cool family environment when you’re at one of his practices or his fantasy camp and you see that all of his coaches are alum. The number of alum that come back to support his events, and it’s been a foundation for how I’ve tried to build our program.”
Broderick said the instant feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from area residents while several organizations and area businesses have asked how they can help. He expects more fund-raising to be completed in the coming weeks and months.
“I really want this for our community,” Broderick said. “I think when we finish this, it’s going to be such a cool thing for our entire community.”