Indiana Pacers

Pacers’ Jeff Teague opening athletic facility, sponsoring Buddy Lazier’s Indy 500 entry

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Pike High School product Jeff Teague is more than a basketball player, he’s now entrepreneur. And he has invested money back into the city that has given him so much, and helped open doors for a successful career in the NBA.

Teague, who turns 29 in three weeks, is opening The Factory, a franchise of D1 Sports Training, in mid-August at 6331 Crawfordsville Road. That’s just two miles north west of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“I just wanna take care of my family and build up my city.”

1996 Indianapolis 500 Champion Buddy Lazier got connected with Teague’s representative and together they agreed upon a 50-50 partnership where Teague, who was acquired by his hometown team last June, would help sponsor his IndyCar for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, and Lazier would help with sponsorship at The Factory.

“Being in Indiana, knowing about the 500, something cool to be a part of,” Teague said earlier this week at Bankers Life Fieldhouse when attending one of the Pacers’ pre-draft workouts. “Give him a helping hand and he can help me out with some sponsorship for my building, the facility that we’re putting it up called The Factory. It’s a great partnership.

“It just worked out perfectly.”

Initial investments costs, according to D1, range from $223,560 to $692,350. The Factory will be a great training ground for his half-dozen AAU teams, Team Teague, and good for football players, and everyday athletes. It will have three courts, half a football field, a weight room, and they already have a partnership in place with IU Health, according to Teague.

“Pretty much everything you can ask for in a sports facility,” he said.

Jeff’s father, Shawn, who already heads up the AAU program, is the Chief Operating Officer.

“He does a lot of training around the city. He coaches at Northwest High School and he was using that facility. They’ve been great to us for over 15 years he’s been coaching there. He wanted a building and so we found a partner.”

[Click here to visit The Factory’s website]

“I can’t imagine something that makes more sense,” Buddy Lazier said on Thursday. “You have basketball at the highest level with IndyCar racing at the highest level coming together to promote a business that’s just down the street. A lot of these sponsors are national sponsors. D1 is a national company, but we’re particularly focusing on The Factory.

“I don’t know how you could have a better way to give back to the community than to bring an all-inclusive place where kids can meet and play basketball, where folks that have injuries can go do their physical therapy, and where everyday athletes can go and get their training in. We know that quality of life is related to your physical fitness. D1, The Factory — that’s all about training, and that’s something that I’m all about as well.”

The grand opening will be in mid-August.

Teague says longtime friend (and agent) J.R. Hensley, who he has known since he was about 10, “put me on” to racing.

Lazier offered the suggestion to change his car number from 4 to 44. That’s been Jeff’s number forever. Teague wore it because that’s what number his older brother, Shawn, wore.

“He thought it would be pretty cool to have 44 and I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s pretty dope.’ 44 was special to me just because being here and what it means to me,” Teague said. “To see that on the car, in the Indy 500, the biggest event in Indianapolis, it’s crazy.”

“How many folks are total fans of the Indy 500 and total fans of the Indiana Pacers? How do you miss? You can’t miss,” added Lazier. “It’s a really nice thing and it was good for our team. The reality of it is we both love Indiana, the Indianapolis area, and anything that any one of us can do to give back to our fans is a good thing.”

Jeff, who just completed his eighth NBA season and his first with the Pacers, believes he first attended the Greatest Spectacle in Racing when he was about 11.

“It’s a packed place, man,” he said, smiling wide. “It’s a lot of people at that event. It’s amazing to see.”

It’s notable that Teague, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, is not only giving back to his community but he’s also investing a substantial amount of money.

Teague and Lazier are expected to meet for the first time on Friday at Carb Day. (Which is the best for people watching, by the way.)

“I’m excited to meet him,” Teague said. “He’s very excited. Hopefully he can pull off one of those miracle runs.”

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