KU Athletics: Facility Juggernaut

I got to check out the new practice facility for men’s and women’s basketball at KU today.  Media was allowed in the facility and also to check out the view from Bonne Henrickson’s office (left).

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to have that initial “wow” factor as KUAthletics.com had pictures up the other day with the men’s team having a workout on the first day it was opened. But most of the media hadn’t seen pictures of it and were quite stunned.  At first glance, it is quite apparent that it is one of the top facilities in the country.

It is 1.5 courts long. The wall closest to furthest from Allen Fieldhouse has the 2008 Final Four court mounted on it (left).

On the longer walls are the five championship banners (two Helms, three NCAA National Championships). It is in Trajan style, and it looks really cool.  It also says Kansas Jayhawks Basketball in big lettering to the left of those banners.  Both coaches have offices with balconies that overlook the floor. Bonnie said how she loves hearing basketballs bouncing at all times of the day. Henrickson’s office is closest to the Fieldhouse.  In my opinion, Coach Self’s office has the better view, but they are essentially the same office locations as before.

Chris Theisen, assistant AD of media relations, confirmed a new work room for the media.  Not sure where it is yet, but that’s exciting.  While the work room last year wasn’t awful, it was in a bad location and the wireless liked to act up on me quite a bit.

Included in these renovations are new locker rooms for both basketball teams, as well as new locker rooms for soccer, volleyball and softball. Men’s and women’s track and field’s new lockers and lounge are still under construction. Which means in the last year, four of the six men’s sports have had new locker rooms (football got the new practice facility and baseball got a new clubhouse) and six of the 10 women’s sports have new locker rooms as well (rowing got a new clubhouse).  All that leaves is men’s and women’s cross country and golf, and then women’s swimming and diving and tennis. Track and field, softball and soccer will be getting a new facility within the next five years with the new Olympic Village.  Add these all together, and it is all very impressive.  Selling a recruit on Kansas is now easier than ever.

Other renovations include a bridge to the parking garage, donor atrium, expanded concourses and concessions, an expanded Hall of Athletics, as well as new administrative offices (marketing, media relations, etc.), a new student academic center (which is complete and looks outstanding from the view from outside).  The Jayhawk Towers got a renovation as well, which has been a long time coming.

The best part for the basketball coaches is no longer juggling schedules with volleyball and both basketball teams.

“It eliminates the 5:30 a.m. workouts,” Henrickson said. “It allows players to come in any time.”