Joplin, MO – In a way, it’s a homecoming for Jon Buck.
“This is where I grew up,” he said. “It’s what helped make me who I am today. I played a lot of basketball here.”
Buck, a Joplin businessman who has been successful with food and entertainment in downtown Joplin, got the keys earlier this week to the Sports Park of Southwest Missouri, formerly the Four Seasons Sports Complex at the northeast corner of Newman and Prosperity roads.
Buck, now 33, worked there from age 14 to 21.
“When I was 14, my dad said if I wanted a car at 16, I had better start saving my money,” he said. “I have worked every aspect of this place. I’m coming full circle.”
The property, now called the JOMO Activity and Sports Complex, was last used earlier this year to stage indoor events in the sports park’s 24,000-square-foot gymnasium.
“We’re signing up people for leagues this fall in basketball, futsol, which is indoor soccer, and volleyball.” he said. “We hope to partner with Joplin Parks and Recreation to offer some youth sports programming.”
League sign-ups are being handled through the Live JOMO Facebook page, which Buck uses to encourage people to eat, shop and enjoy entertainment in Joplin.
Buck said he plans to give the sports park a general face-lift. He also plans to redo four baseball fields.