Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Basketball Team Lounges

The University of Akron will convert 5,000 square feet in James A. Rhodes Arena into team lounges for the Zips men's and women's basketball programs and construct a 1,650-square-foot strength-training room that will service four varsity teams. The University's Board of Trustees approved the project on April 28. The lounges will provide enhanced facilities for team activities and be located in proximity to each squad's locker room and arena floor

The project is scheduled to begin in mid-May and conclude in late-July."One of our primary objectives in Zips Athletics is to create a meaningful and memorable experience for our student-athletes, and the addition of team lounges and a new strength and conditioning center certainly meets that goal," Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill said. "This project, which would not be possible without the generous support of our donors, will provide amenities that benefit both basketball programs and their student-athletes, and will allow our coaching staffs to continue to recruit successfully."

The two team lounges will be symmetrical and feature state-of the-art technology, including multi-screen audio/visual equipment for practice and game video analysis, and opponent scouting. The video systems, designed specifically to meet the needs of the Akron basketball programs, will be synchronized with equipment located in the existing coaching staffs' offices to maximize efficiency in video study and game preparation."These improvements are overdue for our successful programs and will add greatly to our recruiting efforts and day-to-day coaching tasks," Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities Management Ted Curtis said.

The space in each lounge will be flexible in its usability and will support a variety of functions, including team meetings, individual study time, social interaction and recruiting visits. The focus of the remodel will be on new interior finishes, lighting, casework and furnishings. Graphic elements will be incorporated into the overall design to emphasize the identity of each program and the branding of the University and Zips Athletics. Other amenities include study cubicles with computers and extra tall ceilings.

Women's Basketball Banquet!

The team gave out several specialty awards, starting with Most Outstanding Player, presented to sophomore Rachel Tecca for her stellar season as the team leader in scoring and rebounding. She was also honored for earning All-MAC First Team recognition, only the third Zip to ever make the First Team. Junior Jasmine Mushington was named the team's Most Improved player, and she also received her MAC award for Co-Sixth Player of the Year.

Freshman of the Year honors went to Carly Young, who also made the MAC All-Freshman Team in her first year as a Zip. Classmate Kacie Cassell took home the Community Service award for her work off the court, and Brianna Moyes, also a freshman, was honored with the Coaches' Award. Finally, the Scholar Award was given to Tecca for her excellence in the classroom.

The evening also featured the presentation of commemorative basketballs to Akron's lone senior Kara Murphy for her record-breaking career. The Hartville, Ohio native broke program records for games played (123) and points scored (1,777) over her four years in the Blue & Gold. Murphy also earned All-MAC Honorable Mention honors, placing her on the All-MAC squad all four years of her career.

The team also recognized the academic achievements of Tecca, Taylor Ruper, and Natasha Williams, who earned the MAC Commissioner's Award for student-athletes with GPA's of 3.5 or higher. The following Zips also made the MAC Honor Roll with GPA's of at least 3.0: Murphy, Tecca, Ruper, Williams, and Katie Bubna.