Basketball Practice Facility Groundbreaking

Submitted by Tim on May 11th, 2010 at 3:49 PM


In a (thankfully brief) ceremony yesterday, the next phase of Michigan's basketball programs kicked off with the groundbreaking on a new practice facility.

Though most Athletic Department representatives didn't say it raises expectations - they want to win every game, every year, how can you get higher than that? - the facility will help both the men's and women's programs reach new levels of success. The expectations haven't changed, but the ability to reach them has improved. There are two ways in which the facility will help the program: getting top recruits on campus, and helping them improve once they're Wolverines.


AD David Brandon summed up the recruiting benefit simply, saying "I always look at these things from the perspective of a recruit." Young kids will want to see that the school is trying to help them reach their goals on the basketball court before they ever consider committing to Michigan. Men's coach John Beilein said that recruits don't talk about the lack of a practice facility, but their silence speaks volumes.  

Once top recruits are on campus, the new practice facility will be a huge benefit to improving their game. The main gym at Crisler Arena is the only basketball court on Michigan's Athletic campus (depending on what you consider the free-for-all gyms at the IM Building). Now, there will be courts to use for practice even when Crisler Arena is occupied by other events. Players will also have access to practice facilities during non-peak hours, meaning it's easier for them to take the classes they want. The players will also be practicing in the same facility that their coaches work, which isn't the case right now. Currently, the coaches' offices are in the main athletic department complex.

Though the schedule is not set in stone, the completion date for the project is in Fall of 2011. There's a good chance construction goes ahead of schedule, as it has for the Michigan Stadium Project, but the coaches are telling 2011 recruits that the facility should be done around the time they enter school.

Yay, we will finally have a practice facility!

Side Note: According to Associate AD Joe Parker, 59 of the 81 suites in Michigan Stadium are committed. All but two of those have been paid for. There will be an open house in June for those who have committed to suites or club seats to come sit in their seats and see what the view will be like. For more info, head to


might and main

May 11th, 2010 at 3:57 PM ^

OK, first, thank goodness the facilities are finally being addressed.  Good work Bill Martin et al.

Now ... if you can't do the winged helmet the right way, don't do it at all.  Fer cryin out loud! The wings look too small, given the extra maize portion up front.  The whole thing is out of whack.  Dang, don't mess with the winged helmet!

While I'm at it, I've never liked the hockey helmets.  The wings extend too far back on the sides.  C'mon facilities and equipment dudes, step it up!


Hard Gay

May 11th, 2010 at 4:07 PM ^

well i hope the basketball players will still visit the IM building courts so i can teach them a thing or two about not being good at basketball


May 11th, 2010 at 4:10 PM ^ story.  There are more cool pictures there.

This cannot be overstated:

"Where you spend your life is where you practice," Brandon said. "A recruit comes to our place and is like, 'Where is your practice gym?' We don't have one. 'Where are the practice facilities? Where do I hang out before and after practice? Where do I connect with the coach?'  We just didn't have the right answers to any of these questions. Now we do. When this thing gets built, we're going to have a home."

Funding? Funding:

The funding for the renovation and new construction is coming from a combination of donations and the Athletic Department.

Project major donor Lionel Margolick, a private investment banker, wanted to help the basketball programs take a step forward. Margolick is a big supporter, attending many basketball and football games.

"I'm a Michigan fan because I feel this is the only true elite academic and athletic powerhouse, besides Stanford, in the country," Margolick, a resident of Franklin, said. "I am very happy to help Michigan basketball get what they need."

Thank you, thank you, Mr. Margolick.  The MGoBlogerati salute you for your role in providing the MBB and WBB teams with a home!


May 11th, 2010 at 4:40 PM ^

I saw the picture of the helmets and shovels at the top of the page and I heard the voice of Bob Ufer say "They came to bury Michigan ..."


May 11th, 2010 at 4:46 PM ^

I am very excited to see this new building go up. I'm hoping that the University puts a webcam up to monitor the progress of this facility, as I am running out of other excuses to not do work at work. With the Stadium, North Quad, and the new Mott Hospital (almost) done, the Law School building is really the only constuction going on around campus. As an engineer, I simply need more distractions.

Now Fix Crisler!

NCAA Champs in 2012.


May 12th, 2010 at 1:50 PM ^

Players will also have access to practice facilities during non-peak hours, meaning it's easier for them to take the classes they want.

This is big.  This makes our commitment to academics all the more sincere. 


May 18th, 2010 at 9:26 AM ^

This is very exciting. We cannot wait for you to provide us with updates on the progress of the building. Or at least we hope that you will get that opportunity and I am sure the opening will be big news.

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