It wasn’t a huge surprise, and maybe that’s the reason the announcement of a new basketball practice facility seemed to be overlooked a bit yesterday. That and the fact football season is right around the corner.
But make no mistake. This was a big deal when it comes to UNT athletics.
UNT has struggled a bit in a few sports over the last few years. Men’s basketball hasn’t been one of them. UNT is good, really good.
Having a court to call home is a big step in keeping the train rolling.
It was really odd over the last several years seeing the team bumped off the court at the end of practice by some random university PE class or other event at the PEB or the Rec center.
It was even weirder that the team’s home court was in mothballs most of the year at the UNT Coliseum.
You just don’t build a powerhouse program that way.
You don’t land a Tony Mitchell and a Chris Jones and a Jordan Williams when you don’t have a place they can go shoot 24-7.
Somehow UNT did it anyway.
Having a practice court will help UNT continue to grow as a program. The fact that UNT came up with $2.5 million to make it happen is a sign of the entire department’s growth. That’s a huge chunk of change for a department that has had a handful of seven figure donations through the years, especially considering UNT came up with it all in a month.
And in a side note, UNT is continuing to grow as a program. Johnny Jones left Tony Benford a great team. Benford’s made it even better the last few months, bringing in players like P.J. Hardwick and Keith Coleman.
That’s been a bit overlooked over the last few weeks while people focus in on what could be one of the best teams and in school history led by Tony Mitchell, maybe the best player to ever play for the Mean Green.
Benford mentioned the other day that UNT’s team GPA was over a 3.0 during the summer and that everyone will be back on Monday to begin school/preparations for the season.
It will be the last season UNT begins without a practice facility.
UNT already had a really good program in men’s basketball. It’s arguably the pride of the entire department.
It got even better yesterday.