Arkansas' basketball program is set to sign three players during the week-long November early signing period that opens Wednesday and those guys know now they will have a Basketball Performance Center to develop their skills.
The Razorback athletic department announced Tuesday that it will break ground on Dec. 7 for the facility, which is set to open in the summer of 2015 and will keep Arkansas from being the only SEC school without one.
Jeff Long, Arkansas' Director of Athletics and Vice Chancellor, will be at the festivities along with Razorback head coach Mike Anderson and women's head coach Tom Colleen.
"We invite Razorback fans to join us as we break ground on the Basketball Performance Center, a facility that will serve as an integral part of the future success of Razorback men's and women's basketball," Long said in press release. "Although we are still in the process of raising the funding needed for the facility, it is critical we move ahead to provide our basketball programs with a facility to bring us up to the level of the institutions we compete with day in and day out in the SEC and around the region.
"I am confident that even as we begin construction, others will step up with support to help provide our men's and women's basketball programs a comprehensive practice facility which will help us better serve the development needs of our current and future student-athletes," Long added.
This 66,000 square foot facility will house all operational components for the men's and women's basketball teams including: two full-court gymnasiums, men's and women's locker rooms, a weight room, an athletic training room, coaches' offices, team meeting rooms, student-athlete lounge and study areas and an equipment room. The University of Arkansas is currently the only Southeastern Conference program without a basketball practice facility.
"The Basketball Performance Center will give us the ability to hold practices and other team related activities at any time of the day independent of other scheduled events at Bud Walton Arena," Long says. "It will also allow tremendous flexibility in accommodating student-athletes academic schedules to help further assist them on their track to graduation.
"The everyday use of the Basketball Performance Center will also allow us to explore more frequent and diverse uses of Bud Walton Arena," Long noted. "Additional campus and outside events could bring significant additional economic benefits to our region even beyond the current estimated $1 billion economic impact affiliated with Razorback Athletics in the next five years."
MAHG Architecture (Fort Smith) and Populous (Kansas City, Mo.) will lead the design team on the Basketball Performance Center while CDI Constructors (Fayetteville and Little Rock) will serve as the general contractor.
Forrest City big man Trey Thompson (6-9, 250) is set to sign Wednesday at 10:30 while North Little Rock point guard Anton Beard will ink his letter-of-intent Thursday at 4 p.m.
The Razorbacks are also scheduled to sign Arlington, Texas, Martin swingman Nick Babb (6-5, 190) during the period that runs from Nov. 13-20.
Arkansas' proposed Basketball Performance Center
Floor plan for the new Basketball Performance Center
Basketball Performance Center Finally Arrives
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