Forward Thinking

Arkansas announced Monday a new fundraising push called Never Yield, which focuses on helping the Razorbacks add the proposed new basketball practice facility, the new Student Athlete Success Center and an indoor practice facility for the baseball and track teams.

Now that the new Fred W. Smith Football Operations Center is about to open, it appears that the proposed Arkansas basketball practice facility and a couple of other projects are closer to becoming a reality.

The hoops practice facility, the Student-Athlete Success Center and a new basketball and track indoor training facility are the three components of a new fundraising push called NeverYield, which the school announced on Monday.

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long knows that his school is the only member of the 14-team SEC without an on-campus basketball practice facility in addition to its arena.

"I've been saying it for five years," Long said on a recent Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly radio show. "I have to take a step back sometimes and not get frustrated by those who still can't see the vision of why we need one. I think we lost another recent recruit for that factor. We've got to get these facilities.

"We need it now," Long added. "We needed it five years ago. I hope to have them in the next year and a half… "Losing recruits because we don't have a basketball practice facility is a reality."

The new 66,000 square foot basketball practice facility – which the UA Board of Trustees approved $36.5 million in bonds and is nicknamed The Lab - will include two full-court gyms, men's and women's locker rooms and a weight room.

It will be located right across from Bud Walton south of Leroy Pond Road and between Bogel Park (the Lady Razorbacks' softball facility) and the Gardens tailgating area.

The Student Athlete Success Center will address the academic, nutritional, personal and professional development needs of over 460 student athletes.

The indoor facility for both track and baseball will cost around $10 million.

"It would be huge for us," Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn said earlier this year. "Whenever they talk about the facility, they talk about inclement weather and all that, but we would use that facility every day.

"The work and practice we'd be able to get done in there would be second to none," Van Horn added. "Then, obviously, the ability to bring recruits in there and show them that facility would really prove to them how important baseball is here at Arkansas."

Long has been very upfront about how Arkansas has been behind in these three areas.

"They are the things our coaches need," Long said. "They aren't luxury items. They are necessities to win and compete in this day and age. We're behind in this area and I'm committed to catching us up."

Arkansas Basketball Practice facility

Student-Athlete Success Center

Baseball/Track Indoor Facility

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