Oct. 5, 2012
Photo Gallery | Video Highlights
MANHATTAN, Kan. - A new chapter in the history of Kansas State men's and women's basketball team was unveiled on Friday night, as K-State Athletics dedicated its new $18 million Basketball Training Facility.
Guest were able to tour the facility prior to the dedication ceremony, which included comments from University President Kirk Schulz, Athletics Director John Currie, lead contributors Rand and Patti Berney and Jim and Laura Johnson as well as head coaches Deb Patterson and Bruce Weber. The group then participated in a ribbon cutting before Schulz and senior basketball players Brittany Chambers and Rodney McGruder wrapped up the festivities with ceremonial first free throws.
Located on the east side of Bramlage Coliseum, the 50,000-square foot facility will be the central headquarters for the Kansas State men's and women's basketball teams with close proximity to game day activities and other facilities such as the Academic Learning Center. The building is equipped with two practice courts, coaches' offices, locker rooms for both teams and coaches, player lounges, a theatre-style team film room, a 2,500-square foot weight room, a sports medicine center with a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy facility and an atrium lobby with viewing deck. The facility was designed by Populous and constructed by MW Builders, and blends a modern glass and steel structure with the tradition of K-State limestone on the exterior.
Plans for a public viewing of the building are being developed and will be announced at later date.
Below is a transcript from tonight's dedication as well as comments from student-athletes.
Kansas State President Kirk Schulz
"We want to welcome back some of the great K-State basketball players. It is so neat to see them walking through this facility that defines K-State Athletics, and this defines Kansas State University. As we build a new business and engineering building. We want to make sure that we have the same kind of wonderful facilities for our students, faculty and staff across campus. I also want to acknowledge the best athletic director in the Big 12 Conference, John Currie. I remembering interviewing John several years ago and talking about the kinds of things that we needed to do. This facility was a thing that was recommended and talked about by our men's and women's basketball staffs that were something that was needed to make sure that we continue to compete in a very tough Big 12 Conference. I saw the pictures ahead of time, but it is great to see what it looks like today. I also think it is great that we have a women's and men's basketball facility in same building. We have great traditions here within men's and women's basketball. I think it will be great that the staff will be able to work together that our student athletes will be able to interact with each other, and we get that great synergy between the two programs that I think will make each of them all the better. I appreciate the K-State donors; the K-State families that made this project a reality. We had several folks that you are going to hear from that stepped up with major contributions to make this a reality. When you look out at the donor boards, you see that a whole lot of people contributed to make this a reality. Finally, along with these great facilities, it is great to have terrific student athletes. We need you as fans to continue to come out and support these student athletes and help us win championships. Go Cats!"
Athletics Director John Currie
"This is indeed a monumental day in the history of Kansas State University and in the history of K-State basketball. Just let me say that without the leadership of Kirk and Noel Schulz we would not be here today. From our very first phone conversation in April of 2009, President Schulz emphasized to me how important it would be to improve our athletic facility infrastructure. In just three-and-a-half years as President, he has already established a national reputation not as just one of the brightest and emerging stars of higher education, but also as a leader of intercollegiate athletics. Most recently, noted by his designation as a Big 12 representative on the NCAA Board of Directors and also as a Big 12 Vice-Chair as he will be the next Chairperson of the Big 12. As an athletic director, I cannot imagine a better President to work for. On behalf of our coaches, staffs, and 458 student athletes I would like to again thank President Schulz and Dr. Noel Schulz for their leadership."
Men's Head Coach Bruce Weber
On his first impression of the basketball training facility...
"It's amazing. I said wow. It has the `wow' factor, no doubt about that. I've been in a lot of buildings over the years, including NBA buildings and other college basketball areas. This place is special and is up there with some of the best facilities in the country. It has all the bells and whistles and the people who built it didn't skip anything. I hope our players appreciate it, because a lot of people have sacrificed by donating money or playing through the years, at Ahearn Fieldhouse or Bramlage Coliseum toughing it out, to be able to have a facility like this. Now, our players have it made. It's a great time for K-State basketball, and I'm very fortunate to be a part of it."
On the basketball training facility being an attraction to recruits...
"There's no doubt it helps with recruits. I think the big thing the donors addressed was that in the Big 12, everyone had a practice facility except for us. Now there's a recruit that's visiting two or three of us (in the Big 12) and that's a factor now, that can't be the case anymore. If anything, we have an advantage over some other schools because we have the newest facility and one of the nicest ones. It's a major advantage for recruiting and also for practice. We joke about free throws, but it's hard to practice free throws when there are only three baskets in the gym. Now there are six on one side and six on the other. Everyone has their own basket, so they can be much more efficient. It's great when you talk about teaching and coaching. It's a great learning environment for the players and practice. The weight room is here, we have a state-of-the-art training room for rehab and training too. Hopefully there's not athletes who are using it, but that always happens. There are a lot of positive things about this place."
Women's Head Coach Deb Patterson
"It is a distinct honor and privilege to have the opportunity to be surrounded by so many great K-Staters this evening. I really appreciate the opportunity that I have in this brief time to say thank you to each and every one of you on behalf of the young women that I have the opportunity to coach and that are sitting over here right now not only just the ones I have coached for the past four years, but also all the special hearts and minds in young women that I have had the opportunity to coach in the previous years during my tenure here at K-State. Each one of you in some large or small way has made and impact on giving to the life experience of these young women and to their future not just as basketball players, but as women, as student athletes and as professionals where they will have the opportunity to share the message of K-State and of K-State family, share the message of the K-State giving and cooperative community. I think that is what is very special about this opportunity to me. As I look across this stage, I can say thank you and extraordinarily sincere fashion to each and every one of you that have given so much to the future of our basketball programs here at Kansas State to the present and also to the past because what you have done is injected into the experience of lives into this facility."
On the facility...
"This facility is state-of-the-art. It will impact our recruiting in such positive ways that it is hard to imagine. It will impact the day-to-day experience of our student athletes in their attempt to achieve excellence. That is what this experience is really all about, all of us coming together and somehow finding a way to become the very best we can be. Each and every one of you has helped open the door and the window of opportunity to that happening, and for that, on behalf of my student athletes past, present and future, I thank you for the difference you will make as our recruits will come out of this great facility."
Senior Guard Rodney McGruder
On the benefits of the new basketball training facility...
"It will be very beneficial. We have no excuses. We can get into the gym any time that we want to now. It is up to us on how successful we want to be. We just have to take advantage of it."
On shooting the ceremonial free-throw...
"It was great and fantastic. It was surreal and I cannot thank the donors and all of the people who helped enough."
Senior Forward Jordan Henriquez
On the basketball practice facility's accessibility...
"I am a gym rat so I came to the gym a lot anyways. Now that we can come into the gym anytime we want to, I can go to sleep after putting some shots up if I come up here late at night."
On if the basketball training facility provides the teams more confidence...
"Going into this year, with it being my senior year, it does give us a lot of confidence. Rodney McGruder, Martavious Irving and I want to leave together with a great K-State career and hopefully a championship."
Senior Guard Brittany Chambers
On the advantages of the Basketball Training Facility...
"The biggest advantage obviously is when the men have ESPN in town for one of their games and we did not get the opportunity to practice and a lot of people did not know that. Now when gamedays overlap or things like that, it is easy because we can come in here and we know we can practice. We are not limited to the nights when the guys have game days and the girls cannot use the gym to come and practice. This gives us accessible hours so that we can be in here 24 hours a day, seven days a week and that will help us tremendously when the season hits."
On disadvantages of not having the training facility...
"Before, we were limited because sometimes we could only have an hour-and-a-half to two-hour practices, and at this level you need more than that. In the past, we would have practice from 1:00-3:30, and the men's team would be on right after. Now we get the time to expand our practices. We can be in here all the time because nobody has these gyms but us."
On the BTF's recruiting impact...
"When recruits come in, we would always tell them that we were one of the top programs in the Big 12, but now they are able to see that. Now we can really, truly stand by that we are one of the best, and this facility shows that. Having the best facilities puts you at an advantage over everyone else."