By Brad Locke / NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State’s new basketball home is nearing completion.
The $11.5 million practice facility, which started going up 16 months ago, should be completed by mid-March, according to athletics director Scott Stricklin. When it’s done, the men’s and women’s basketball teams will have a place to call their own.
The teams currently have to share the Humphrey Coliseum floor for practice time and sometimes have to take over the Sanderson Center, where the general student population goes to play pickup games.
“I remember last year in the middle of July, I got a call from the basketball office because the court was being taken up at the Hump, Sanderson was being booked, and our players didn’t have anywhere to go play pickup games,” Stricklin said. “I won’t get those calls any more.”
The original projected cost of building the facility was $11.2 million, so MSU is pretty much on target financially. The 57,611-square foot structure will house six courts, a weightroom, a training room and coaches’ offices, and it will rest on top of an 84-car parking garage.
Stricklin believes the facility, located on the south side of Humphrey Coliseum, will have not only functional but aesthetic value.
“The initial impact is going to be, it makes for a more dramatic entrance way, it’s connected to the common lobby,” he said. “I think that’s going to enhance that first experience people have coming to a Mississippi State basketball game.”