Former Arkansas standout Scotty Thurman didn’t get to have extra practice facility back when he was part of leading the program to the 1994 national championship.
But he is certainly happy that today’s Razorbacks and those that come in the future have a chance to develop in the new Basketball Performance Center.
“This is just a really special place,” Thurman said while leading the media on a tour of the facility on Monday. “We would have loved to have had one of these back in my day instead of having to go to the HPER or down the street to Fayetteville High when we couldn’t practice at Bud Walton.”
Thurman, now Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson’s Basketball Director of Student Development, helped Anderson show off a facility that features two basketball courts, enlarged strength and conditioning, training and equipment rooms, locker rooms and player lounges.
“I got here in 1985 and there was nothing like this,” Anderson said. “To be in the SEC and compete against the teams that we are going against, to me, this is something that Jeff and I talked about when I took the job so it is great to see it be a reality.
“But more importantly, it gives our guys a place to work out. I caution people that we are actually going to practice over there (at Bud Walton Arena) as well.
“This is nice to have, but I want those guys know every angle on that basket, every dead spot on that floor in Bud Walton Arena because that is where we are going to play.
“And (Arkansas women’s coach) Jimmy (Dykes) can attest to it, too, even from a scheduling standpoint and his girls with classes.”
The players all have key fobs, which allows them to enter the facility at any time day or night.
Arkansas is actually unable to practice at Bud Walton Arena now as it gets a new scoreboard, a new floor and a new sound system put in.
But that’s just fine as Arkansas – the last of the 14 SEC teams to get a practice facility – has a great new place to go.
“This one that we have here has a lot of amenities…I think they are helpful in what we are doing in terms of helping develop young men…This is just another piece to it.”
Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson talks to the media in front of a wall honoring Razorback coaches Anderson, Nolan Richardson and Eddie Sutton.
A view from a seating area above the Razorback practice floor
The ceiling in the Arkansas locker room looks like the floor at Bud Walton Arebna
The Arkansas film room in the new facility
A player lounge that will soon have more recliners for the team