New $40M practice facility aims to boost Maryland basketball

The University of Maryland has the money in hand to start building a practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

“I am so proud to reveal that we have raised nearly $40 million to build a new basketball performance center,” Athletic Director Damon Evans said at new head coach Kevin Willard’s introductory news conference Tuesday.

Evans said having a practice facility solely for the school’s basketball programs was a frequent topic of conversation with Willard.

“This is one of the most premier basketball jobs in the country without a basketball practice facility — just wait until we get a practice facility,” Willard said.

The facility, which will be called the Barry P. Gossett Basketball Performance Center, addresses a sore spot for the program. Maryland was the only Big Ten Conference school without a dedicated practice facility for both its men’s and women’s teams, creating scheduling conflicts for the school’s most prominent sports teams.

According to a promotional video put out by the university, the 60,000-foot space will feature:

  • Two full-length basketball courts;
  • A shared strength and conditioning facility;
  • Expanded locker rooms for both men’s and women’s programs;
  • State-of-the-art space for sports medicine, physical training and hydrotherapy;
  • A dedicated theatre for film study;
  • A pathway connecting the facility directly to the Xfinity Center.

Check it out for yourself below

While practice facilities are often pitched as a marketing tool for recruits, new coach Willard said he sees it as a key investment in taking care of the players already committed to the Terps.

“What a practice facility does — everyone says it’s for recruiting — it really has nothing to do with recruiting; it’s for the player experience,” Willard said. “So when your kids are here, they have a place they can go that they can eat, that they can rest, that they can do everything.”

He added, “It does help recruiting absolutely, but it’s also for your players and it helps them get better, helps them get more rest, helps them get right nutrition. It’s not only about getting your players here, it’s about getting them better while they’re here.”

As much as it is a “critical piece” for the men’s and women’s programs, as Evans said, the project likely won’t break ground until January 2023.

Once that happens, Evans anticipates that it will take roughly 18 months before the facility is completed, meaning it would be operational ahead of the 2024-25 season.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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