Local businesses cash in on NCAA tournament

One of the most challenging jobs United Services Inc. did was the uniquie Kilkenny Floor at the University of Oregon’s Knight Arena.

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is big business, and Idaho Falls companies are capitalizing on it.

Local flooring company United Services Inc. put together the hardwood court to be used for the Final Four competition April 1 and 3 in Glendale, Ariz., and Doug Andrus Distributing will transport the court there.

United Services Inc. Flooring, founded by the Matheson family of Shelley — father Richard and sons Shane, Troy, Shad and Tate — is a national powerhouse in basketball court manufacturing. The business has built courts for NBA franchises, the NBA All-Star Game and previous men’s and women’s Final Fours at their warehouse in Idaho Falls.

United Services Portable Project Manager Trent Tracy said the pace at the flooring business has been hectic to set up the 400 panels it takes to build the court.

“It’s exciting but it’s stressful too,” Tracy said.

In years past courts has been delivered by UPS, but this year Andrus Distributing secured the contract and will have several of its trucks deliver the court.

Robb LaPier, Andrus Distributing flatbed manager, said the company also will deliver the court for the women’s college basketball Final Four held in Dallas.

He said five trailers will be used to distribute the panels to Arizona and Dallas.

Utah-based Connor Sports Flooring produced the design and raw material for the court and had United Services put it together and detail it with graphics. Connor Sports has in the past worked many times with United Services for big-name teams and the NCAA tournament. Andrus Distributing is new to the Final Four courts contract but it has transported flooring for Connor Sports before.

United Services employees will accompany the court to the tournament and install it in Arizona. Employees will stay during the tournament and fix up any scuffs or touch up paint should the court receive any damage.

Lynn Fuhriman, Andrus Distributing reefer and brokerage manager, said the company is thrilled to transport the court.

“We’re pretty excited. We’ve worked with Connor for a while now,” Fuhriman said. “We hauled the Utah Jazz’s new floor that was installed this year and we hauled Garth Brooks’ new floor.”

Fuhriman said driving the court in an Andrus truck will be great for business by creating visibility.

“(Connor Sports) knew they didn’t want a 10- or 15-year-old tractor that’s dirty and nasty since image is everything. We’re pretty ecstatic to work with Connors and the way they’ve involved us in this contract,” Fuhriman said.

LaPier said his senior drivers get the opportunity to transport the panels and he’s had more than a few drivers plead to be the ones to make the trips.

“Yeah, I’ve got a lot of drivers asking to be able to take it down,” LaPier said. “We’re very excited and very proud to have this contract.”

Final Four court

Reporter Tom Holm can be reached at 542-6746