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B-ball gets training facility

Once again, Coach K got his way. The Athletic Department is in the final planning and fundraising stage for a new two-court training facility to be built behind Cameron. The timeframe for the project was accelerated when Krzyzewski threatened to leave for L.A.

Once again, Coach K got his way.

The Athletic Department is in the fundraising and final planning stage for a $10 to $12 million training facility for the men’s and women’s basketball programs to be built behind Cameron Indoor Stadium. The structure, which will be about as large as Cameron itself and will include two courts, is expected to be completed in approximately two years, Athletic Director Joe Alleva said.

The timetable for the training center, which officials said has been in the works for a couple of years, was accelerated when men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski considered leaving Duke to coach the Los Angeles Lakers this summer.

The building is the second major addition to Cameron in the last five years—Schwartz-Butters Athletic Center and its accompanying concourse were completed in 2000—but the teams have outgrown several of the spaces in those buildings.

“We don’t want to build a new arena,” Krzyzewski said. “Somebody might someday, but to me this is a treasure and we have to keep updating it. Part of updating it is attaching a practice facility to it so that when you get a place that people want to go into it, not just for basketball games.”

With the single court in Cameron, the men’s and women’s teams cannot practice simultaneously, and the addition of the two new courts will more than double the available practice space. The new building will also free up the University’s largest indoor venue for the wrestling and volleyball teams, which also compete in Cameron, and for other events such as concerts.

The teams’ weight room and video facilities housed in the 2000 addition are no longer adequate, and the new building will include larger spaces that incorporate new technology. Offices for the Athletic Department and a banquet space for athletics and other departments to hold functions for 200 to 250 people will also be parts of the new addition.

The Athletic Department has secured about half the money for the facility, which will be built between the Hall of Fame concourse and the baseball stadium.

“We’ve needed something like this for a very long period of time,” women’s head coach Gail Goestenkors said. “Cameron is a wonderful place to play. It’s not the best practice facility because we don’t have many baskets, so when we want to do shooting drills it’s almost impossible.”

The decision to go ahead with the building comes only eight months after Krzyzewski turned down the Lakers and at a time when many peer athletic programs are constructing new facilities and arenas. Duke has invested in numerous new facilities and upgrades in the past several years, including the Yoh Football Center, but since the construction of Schwartz-Butters, it has focused on Duke’s other sports.

“There is no question that across the country there has been an ‘arms race’ in buildings and facilities,” Alleva said. “If you just look in our conference—Maryland has built a new basketball arena, Virginia is building a new basketball arena, Carolina has a big one that they’ve had—and they probably started the whole thing.”

The building will also help Krzyzewski encourage his former players to return to campus to work out during the summer as NBA star Mike Dunleavy did in 2004 and others have in the past.

“It is important for us to get those guys back because they bring back the culture of Duke Basketball,” Alleva said. “They are key in keeping the culture and tradition going.”

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