UConn officially dedicates new practice facility

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It’s been a long time coming in the eyes of those who follow the UConn basketball programs, but the reigning national champions in both men’s and women’s basketball finally have a practice facility to call home.

Friday afternoon the school officially unveiled its new facility, which was officially named the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center for donors Peter J. and Pamela H. Werth. The Werth family made two separate donations, totaling $7 million.

The 75,000-plus square-foot building features complete facilities for the men’s and women’s championship basketball programs. The center includes common areas designed for academic support, sports medicine and strength training, along with separate practice gyms, locker rooms, coaches’ offices, meeting rooms and video analysis facilities.

With there being separate practice gyms for the two programs, gone are the days of having to juggle schedules in order to accommodate the practice plans of both Kevin Ollie and Geno Auriemma.

“I am very grateful to Peter and Pam Werth for their incredible generosity that has helped make the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center a reality,” UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said, according to the school release. “I also want to thank all the donors who contributed to the facility. Their support will help ensure that our men’s and women’s basketball programs are able to continue to compete at a national championship level for decades to come.”

Major collegiate athletics has been dealing with the facilities arms race for quite some time, well before conference realignment had its impact on the landscape. But for a program like UConn, which despite its history of success on the basketball court found itself on the outside looking in with regards to realignment (football calls the shots), this facility is of great importance.

Having a building of this quality for their athletes to train, not to mention an a non-conference schedule that will improve the likes of Arizona and Ohio State (men’s basketball) in the near future, will help on the recruiting trail as they look to add more championships to the new building.