FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) – Through the “HOOPS in the DVM” podcast series; we learned more about Arthur “Art” Claybon, who shared his story, and some details about his current venture; Zone 24.
Art Claybon, and former Frederick Cadet alum Steve Custis; run Zone 24 together, along with trainers that they’ve brought through their ever-growing network. But to hear it from Steve, their idea originated under some funny circumstances.
“Art was doing a lot of training and stuff, he was training me during the summer and stuff; and we were at golds gym all the time, and we would always get kicked out.” said Steve Custis, who used to be trained by Art, in his early days.
“We came across one of our former partners, Chuck Allison, and we trained his sons, Demone Clowney, and Austin Allison.” said Steve, “And he got tired of it too; and we kind of came together, and he asked us what our goal was, and we said, look one day we want to start a gym, a training facility.”
Zone 24 has been running for almost six years now, and while both Art and Steve continue to build their networks in the basketball realm; their main goal is tied to the area they’ve grown up in.
“Re-establishling the mentality in western Maryland – that this is a great service for your child – in addition to the games was a very tough start, but once people started seeing the value, word spread like wild fires.” said Art Claybon, when asked about some of the early struggles during the inception of Zone 24, formerly known as Hoop Zone.
Some of the challenges in his current day-to-day goes back to how social media has affected the way younger clients approach their game; but based off people that have been able to work with Art and Steve, it’s gone incredibly well
“To come into this facility, and to be a part of this team, it’s actually helped me grow as a trainer – and as a business – I feel like I’m beneficial to them as well.” said Elyon Bush, former retired professional player, and current Zone 24 trainer.
“From eighth grade, I couldn’t even touch the backboard, I wasn’t athletic.” said Brandon Pilgrim, former Saint John’s Catholic Prep basketball player, and longtime client for Art Claybon. “All I could do was shoot. And then my sophomore going into my junior year, I wanted to start dunking, so art put me on a workout plan, and I just took off from there.”
The long term goal for Zone 24 is similar to what you would find in a small business venture; maximizing their current market value, and expanding to different markets.
For Art, and Steve; their goals are directly tied by their familial connection; being brothers-in-law. Their goals, as well, tie back into the sport that they love, and that has given them so much.
“Definitely the long term picture – it’s like – like Steve said there is no limit to it.” said Art, “But we definitely have some things we’re working on for the near future.”