Whether a high school basketball coach, an AAU program director, or a high school athletic director, one thing has remained constant in Reggie Perkins’ approach.

He has a passion for youth sports.

And there’s only one way to cultivate that passion and deliver it to kids, and that’s through having fun. Something Perkins, a former Harlem Globetrotter, knows something all about.

“The one thing I cherish from that time was the joy of the game. It’s a show. We won all the time. But it wasn’t about winning. It was bringing the joy. Bringing the joy and happiness to people through sports. That’s something I’ve never forgot,” Perkins said.

That is why opening Hi-Five Sports Zone in the Eden Prairie Center this month has been a “dream come true” for Perkins. Something he has planned for over the last 2 1/2 years.

“I always wanted to do something in youth sports. I’ve run an AAU program, put on summer camps. I was looking for something that would keep me involved in athletics, but at an age group with less pressure. An age group where kids are in still for the fun aspect. I love getting kids excited with sport. I come to find Hi-Five and what they believe in and it aligned perfectly with my values,” Perkins said.

SO, WHAT IS HI-FIVE?

The new Hi-Five facility, located on the first level of the Eden Prairie Center at center court (the old Scheels location), is a large facility that includes three basketball courts, a large turf field, putting green, party event space and its groundbreaking Hi-Five Murphy Mart.

The Hi-Five experience is about enriching the lives of children ages 3-13 with year-round access to sports leagues, camps, classes and parties that are proven to have a positive impact on children.

The Hi-Five Sports Zone provides an environment where life lessons such as teamwork, problem-solving and leadership are taught to kids at a young age. Hi-Five Sports has built a rock-solid reputation through its dynamic approach to sports, known as youth sports entertainment, which teaches the fundamentals while making activities full of fun yet challenging.

The convenient location also allows parents of children seven and older the ability to drop kids off so they can shop while their children are learning the fundamentals of team sports. Children 3-to-6 years old must be accompanied by a parent.

“The last 30 years have prepared me for this role and I can’t wait to share the joy of youth sports and continue to enrich the lives of children through sports”, says Perkins, a former basketball coach at Minneapolis Washburn and Bloomington Kennedy high schools.

THE FACILITY

When you walk into Hi-Five Sports Zone, the first thing that stands out is the colors. Beyond the welcome desk is the Murphy Mart, named after the center’s mascot, Murphy the Dog. Kids earn Murphy coins through participation, learning first about key things such as sportsmanship and teamwork before scoring coins to redeem for prizes.

Beyond the mart is the first basketball court, outlined in yellow, which runs a length of 80 feet. An adjacent red court has a hoop on one end, but is open on the other side, allowing for a variety of activities which could include badminton. The third court, blue, is designed for younger ages at 60 feet in length.

An 80-foot turf field is also part of the sports zone.

On the other side of the space is a birthday party room as well as a mini putting green and net where kids will learn how to hit a golf ball.

Perkins said classes will be one hour, one day a week for eight weeks in length. The sports zone will have an open gym style throughout the day.

GRAND OPENING

Perkins turned over the keys at Minneapolis Washburn High School on Aug. 16, his final day after eight years as athletic director. He headed straight for Hi-Five Sports Zone, ready to embark on the next journey.

“I feel very fortunate to bring this center to these kids and their families. It’s been a dream of mine for a while. I can’t wait until this place is really going,” Perkins said.

Hi-Five Sports Zone will have a grand opening event from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28. While admission is free, a suggested donation will go to support the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Perkins said the grand opening will give children a taste of the sports action while participating in organized games and contests.

For more information on Hi-Five Sports, visit www.hifivesportsclubs.com.

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