In realistic terms, the use of the Homestead High School Fieldhouse for practice by the McDonald's All-American prep basketball players starting March 23, will be just another day in the life for the ultra-busy eight-year old facility which came into being as part of a referendum package passed in 1999.
Consider this recent slate of events cobbled together by Homestead Activities and Athletics Director Charlie Gross:
*A districtwide middle school orchestral, band and choir concert with all the students from those schools bused over to watch.
*The Greater Milwaukee Special Olympics Basketball Tourney scheduled for next month.
*Two more youth basketball tournaments also set for March.
*And then another high-level youth hoops meet scheduled for April.
That doesn't include the 400 or so kids who crowd the facility on weekend days in winter for area youth hoops events or take into account the countless phys-ed classes, intramural sports, or freshmen, junior varsity and varsity sporting events that the school itself hosts year-around.
"We use this thing all the time," Gross said. "It really is a valued asset. It slows down in the summer, but only a little."
In short, it's tax dollars, very well-spent.
That will get a good once-over by people from all across the nation late next month. Gross said that the planners for the McDonald's All-American Games, which is a showcase for the best prep boys and girls hoops players in the country, have been working with Homestead officials for over a year for use of the fieldhouse as a practice site. The games themselves will be held at the Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee March 26.
"This wouldn't have worked out unless it was over spring break week," Gross said, "but we fit their needs for four regulation wood courts that can facilitate two boys and two girls teams in one location."
The fieldhouse itself has two courts and will get help from the old main gym as well as the auxillary gym in making sure everyone can be accommodated.
And though this can be viewed as just another business venture, another bureaucratic enterprise for the school, Gross knows that the intangibles that go along with hosting such an event are enormous.
"It's always an honor to bring the best in a given sport to your location," he said, "and there's no doubt, that these are going to be the best players."
Homestead staff will help the coaches, players and organizers get oriented to the facility, which will see its first use by the teams on Easter Sunday March 23. The next day, players will also visit a McDonald's in Mequon where some will get a chance to work behind the counter.
Highlander boys coach Ray Curry is excited to see how things work out.
"This is a real credit to the athletic department and the facility," he said. "To have that level of basketball here and to be able to see it first-hand at Homestead is a wonderful thing."
But for the fieldhouse itself, it'll be just another day of doing what it does best: serving the public.