In the recruiting arms race in college athletics, one of the areas that the Wolf Pack has been seriously lacking in is having dedicated indoor practice facilities for its basketball teams. During the mid-2000s national run of the men’s basketball team in the NCAA Tournament, the clamor for a dedicated facility began.
“This is a project that we have been talking about in this University, for a long time,” said Nevada Athletic Director Doug Knuth during an informal ceremony and tour of the new basketball practice facility last Friday. “In fact, former coaches Trent Johnson, Mark Fox really got the conversation rolling over a decade ago, talking about for a need for an indoor practice facility for men’s and women’s basketball.”
“When I got to the NBA the first thing that I thought was ‘I’m here now, my dream in the NBA but how can I change lives?’ Sessions said. “Growing up the way I grew up, it was all about giving back and this is just one of those things that I felt like I needed to do”Formerly the Lombardi Recreation Center, the building is being converted into a practice facility that will have state of the art training equipment, basketball courts, film rooms, offices, locker rooms and a nutrition bar.
Adjacent to the courts will be the film room and coaches offices and a medical training room. According to Q&D Construction project superintendent Mike Roher, one of the best features will be the new speaker system in both the basketball gymnasium and weight room. To counter the loud music, both rooms will be fully sound-proof.The second phase, which is estimated to be completed by January is the refurbished training room. The mezzanine area will have a small cardio and stretching area as well as more offices. Beneath that, the open area will be home to state of the art free weights, a small grass track, medicine ball wall, and a nutrition bar.
Friday’s ceremony that recognized the other key players in the project such as Rick Reviglio, Chris Aremini, and Rory Hickok, was a pioneering event for Nevada Athletics. Doug Knuth, who has fundraised for a number of projects during his tenure, believes that Sessions’ contributions helped set the precedent of giving back for other Nevada alumni.“I think the other folks notice when they see that,” Knuth said. “I think that there’s something unique and special happening right now too. We’ve done a really good job these past couple of years of reaching out to our former athletes in all sports and reengaging and reconnecting and asking them to come back, honoring their teams, and all that stuff. I think that’s all translating to more and more former athletes making the decision to give back and help out.”