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MJ could lose $1.5 mil. on West Side gym

Tim Grover trainer NBS players like Michael Jordan Hoops Gym 1380 W. Randolph May 22 2002. | Sun-Times Media

Tim Grover, trainer to NBS players like Michael Jordan at Hoops the Gym, 1380 W. Randolph, May 22, 2002. | Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 10, 2012 1:47PM

Tim Grover, the trainer who used his connection to Michael Jordan to help him build a West Side gym for serious athletes, is in danger of losing the business. And Jordan could lose $1.5 million in the deal.

A judge has rejected a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case Grover filed for his business, the Attack Athletics gym at 2641 W. Harrison. He filed for bankruptcy in April in an attempt to delay a foreclosure on the property, where he built a 60,000-square-foot facility with four NBA-sized courts.

Records show Grover owes $10.17 million on a first mortgage and hasn’t made payments since 2010. With a bankruptcy off the table, the mortgage holder is free to seek foreclosure.

Attack Athletics continues to operate under the control of a receiver.

The bankruptcy filing listed Jordan as among the business’ largest creditors, saying the former Chicago Bulls star is owed $1.5 million. Another creditor listed is former NBA player Michael Finley, who guaranteed a $2 million loan.

The gym opened in 2007 and then-Mayor Richard Daley showcased it as a sign of West Side renewal. Government help came in the form of a zoning change for the once industrial parcel, but a city spokesman said there were no subsidies for the development.

Grover was Jordan’s personal trainer. Attack Athletics displays a picture of Jordan with his NBA championship rings on its home page and says he turned to Grover when he needed to be “stronger, faster and fitter” early in his playing days.

The connection helped Grover secure business from other star athletes. The gym lists many current and former players as clients, including Carlos Boozer, Kobe Bryant, Luol Deng, Tim Hardaway and Donovan McNabb.

But the big names might not have produced big business. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar, in dismissing the Chapter 11 filing last month, said Grover’s company has shown no ability to turn itself around.

The company, Attack Properties LLC, never filed monthly operating reports required in a bankruptcy case and liens on the property total three times its worth of $4 million, Goldgar said. “The record shows no plausible route out of this predicament,” he said.

Attack Properties has appealed Goldgar’s decision to the U.S. District Court, arguing that it didn’t have to file the reports because a receiver has control over the property.

Jordan could not be reached. Grover did not respond to a tweet sent to his account, where he posts regular advice such as, “You have to keep the PEACE within yourself before you take a PIECE of your opponent.”

Poised to get a piece of Grover is Ringgold Capital Management LLC, which bought the mortgage from Aurora-Based Old Second National Bank.

Ringgold is free to seek foreclosure but its attorney, William Barrett, declined to discuss how it will proceed or any plans for the site.

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