Yesterday afternoon, the BCs had the good fortune to be invited to the "ribbon cutting" ceremony marking the formal opening of the Terps' newly remodeled locker room. If you ever had the experience of visiting the Terps' old
locker room, well, you know it needed a bit of an "extreme makeover" . . .
The old locker room (above) was small, cluttered, outdated, with little storage space, no electronics, harsh flourescent lighting, uncomfortable stools and bench seats falling apart. Hardly a draw for recruits, nor a particularly pleasant hangout for the players. And so, during this past off-season, under the leadership of Chris Campbell
, Director of Basketball Operations (and with some $$ help from fans), Maryland remedied the situation, expanding and remodeling the Terps' digs with the goal of creating a space worthy of a consistently top tier team.
Coach B, the team and major donors Carole Harris and Katherine Waters
Three scissors, synchronized snipping . . . and the new and improved locker room is offically open!
And did Chris
and his remodeling team succeed? You bet they did! The BCs' first impression (which only got better upon closer inspection) was "Wow . . . this is really teriffic!"
The new and enlarged space was designed, top to bottom, by interior designer Karen Luria
, who was on hand yesterday to explain the process. She began the project by soliciting input from everyone on the staff as well as, and most important, from the players themselves. She paid special attention to what they told her they wanted because this would be, in many ways, their home away from home. One of the things the players wanted most was electricity
. And they got it -- they now have a charging station inside a lockable cabinet, allowing them to plug in, head out to practice or to a game, and then come back to a fully charged cell phone, iPad, or whatever, ready for texting and tweeting (not while driving home, of course).
Each player also has an individual TV screen at her locker, as well as a ton of storage space that should help keep the place looking, well, a bit less cluttered
than it used to. Plus, according to Brene Moseley
, the locker room's new sound system -- allowing the players to listen to their music -- is simply wonderful. And freshman Chloe Pavlech
, who saw the old locker room as a recruit, told us that when she first saw the remodeled room in August, she was amazed. Great reviews from all!
Everything in the new locker room is high tech, including this LG "touchpen" computer/TV on which Chris
is drawing up Coach B's
secret play for beating Duke
The other main space is the players' lounge, a room dominated by an enormous, custom designed, sectional sofa facing a large, flat screen TV. We tested the sofa personally and can certify that it's quite comfy, just the place for a nice afternoon nap. (A new feature of the lounge is that the lights can be turned off completely, which certainly makes for better napping!) The lounge also contains a "genius bar" with state of the art computers, as well as cafe tables and chairs for snacking or for parking a laptop while doing some course work. And, of course, the lounge has a large fridge filled with beverages and (healthy) snacks. There's also a microwave in case those snacks need a little warming up. Everything's so comfy, we wish we could move in!
One other improvement to the space: the entrance area outside the team lounge now has a redesigned trophy case, featuring the Terps' most important bling bling (yes indeed, the Natty is now on display!). Perfect! Just exactly what you'd want visiting recruits to set eyes on first when they walk through those doors.
Prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, the Terps held their usual Friday afternoon practice, and it sure was great to see them on the court again after the long off-season. Practice was followed by a "lift session" in the
torture chamber "Basketball Performance Center." We'd never seen the Terps put through these paces before, and it was pretty amazing to watch.
The players, as well as the indefatigable Coach Adkins, not only went through a series of excercises with weights .. .
. . . but they also spent a great deal of time on the floor doing pushups and holding themselves up on one arm as they rolled balls back and forth to each other...
... or slapped hands with a partner and quickly changed arms to slap the other hand. It was exhausting to watch, we can't even imagine doing it.
It's not easy to be a "student-athlete," juggling academics and athletics. As we saw once again yesterday, athletes give up beautiful afternoons and tons of what would be free time for other students, putting in hours indoors on the practice court and in the weight room, tiring
hours, in order to be in the best shape and as competitive and prepared as they can be when the tipoff buzzer sounds. Maryland's student-athletes give so much to their fans. It's great that their fans have been able to give a little bit back to them in the form of a beautiful, comfortable new locker room.
Photo Credits: DC BasketCases