SIDNEY, NE — A big step taken in a project that’s been a long time coming.

“I’d like to thank the city for letting us do this here and the community for all their help, Alan Hartzler's widow Mickie Hartzler said.  "It’s been a journey and we couldn’t have done it without all of them.”

Monday morning, the Hartzler family broke ground on the Alan Hartzler Community Basketball Court. The occasion was made extra special by the date. Monday would’ve been Alan’s 60th birthday.

It was an emotional day for the family who have worked since Alan’s passing to get a regulation outdoor basketball court in Sidney. It’s something Alan always pushed for. He was a big supporter of youth sports in the community. He coached and volunteered with multiple sports for years.

“The kids usually went to the elementary schools, but those aren’t regulation and stuff like that so to have a basketball court, he always felt we needed won," Mickie said.

Now with fundraising complete, the family cleared the next major obstacle it making Alan’s dream a reality. It’s a nice birthday present for a late son, husband, father and grandfather.

“It’s like the 60th birthday is a monumental birthday," Mickie said. "Just for this to happen, it’s like it was meant to be.”

The new court will be located where the old Sidney pool was.