Former Oklahoma basketball star Blake Griffin has made the largest donation ever from a former Sooners basketball player in his gift toward the High Performance Center Addition project at Lloyd Noble Center.
Griffin is back in Norman this weekend for the annual alumni event and made the announcement Friday evening.
"I'm really happy to do this," said Griffin, who was the 2009 consensus national player of the year and the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and is a five-time NBA All-Star with the Los Angeles Clippers. "This is a special project and one my family and I wanted to significantly be a part of. I grew so much as a person and as a basketball player at OU. The High Performance Center will help our current and future players realize their collegiate potential while they're Sooners. Additionally, I look forward to utilizing the state-of-art center when I'm in Norman.
The Center is an approximately 16,000-gross-square-foot addition to be constructed south of the two existing basketball practice facilities and will no doubt be a strong boost in recruiting for OU basketball.
The future facility will merge the strength and performance assessment centers into one solidified structure. Added enhancements also include a nutrition center, indoor and outdoor turfs, as well as a multi-purpose space designed for performance testing and assessment. The estimated total cost of the project is $7 million.
After the OU Board of Regents initially approved the project in May 2015, new design modifications were approved by the Board once again in June.
Griffin was the national player of the year in 2009 (Naismith, Wooden and Oscar Robertson Trophy) before being picked No. 1 overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.
"The Griffins are a remarkable family and we are so grateful they are part of the Oklahoma Basketball family," said OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. "Wearing No. 23, Blake was one of the most electrifying players collegiate basketball has ever seen — a true generational type talent. The impact he made on our men's basketball program is enormous and felt daily.”