STORY BY CARLY GRENFELL
It is always right around this time of the year where we get a little bit antsy.
Midterms are approaching, fall break seems to be further away than it actually is and my all-time favorite, basketball season, is right around the corner. Well, the practicing portion of basketball season.
The excitement around finally starting practice is somewhat heightened this year.
For those of you that have walked or driven past the Knapp Center in the last year, you have probably noticed some construction going on. This state-of-the-art basketball practice facility is close to being finished.
In just a couple weeks, the men and women’s basketball seasons will be in full swing, and in a new arena.
Although it is inevitable, the reason I bring this up is not to draw attention to the basketball programs at Drake. I bring this up because there are many misconceptions about why it was built.
You would be surprised how many people this facility will benefit in the long run.
But first, we cannot go without thanking our athletic director Sandy Hatfield Clubb. Her leadership and relentless efforts in finding donors to support the funding of the practice facility has not gone unnoticed.
With that in mind, consider this: She was able to find enough donors to build an $8 million building.
What does that say about these donors?
It says that they believe in Drake University as an institution and in its athletic department.
In no way is this addition about favoritism. It is simply about taking one dimension of Drake University to the next level. For the players and skill development, yes. But also for recruiting, for setting us apart from other Missouri Valley Schools and to open up recreational space for the student body.
To me, athletics adds a unique dimension to Drake as an academically prestigious university.
It gives students something to get excited about outside of their own schoolwork and extracurricular commitments.
But what makes it even better for them?
I can narrow it down to one word: winning.
Some may argue, “Well, it is only for the basketball team, so only they will get better.”
Technically speaking, that is probably true. However, from all that I’ve been around in college athletics, success in its entirety is contagious.
Success can spread from one sport to the next. In turn, students start to get excited. They start to take even more pride in Drake University. And from there, it is my hope that they begin to support teams they have never supported before.
It is my hope that people open up their minds to what a special opportunity the new facility can present for everyone on this campus, not just the basketball teams.