Willie Adams has been associated with Paine College for almost two decades.
Adams started his basketball career at the school in 1992, graduated four years later and then began working as a men’s assistant coach. He spent a lot of days and nights in the warm Carter Gym, even sharing an office with associate athletic director Selina Kohn.
Today, Adams will soak in the experience of a new facility. Paine College will play its first basketball game in the HEAL (Health Education Athletic Learning) Complex at 1 p.m. on Saturday with the Stillman women facing the Lady Lions. The men’s game will follow at 3.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $8.6 million, 2,100 seat arena will be held at 11:30 this morning.
“It’s just a new feeling,” Adams said. “It’s something we’ve been waiting on for a long time.
After 13 months of construction, Paine officials are ready to show off their new 43,000-foot facility, which sits on top of the site of the old Carter Gym built in 1952.
The complex features new men’s and women’s locker rooms and showers for the home and visiting teams. Also, there will be a new ticket office and plenty of bathrooms on the opposite side of the building.
All 15 coaches will be housed in offices in the facility, which includes a film room and a recruiting room. Also, there’s a room for hospitality events for alumni before basketball games.
Inside the gym, there will be a new, large scoreboard which will display players and their points, rebounds and fouls. Also, there will be two smaller scoreboards placed on each end of the court.
The complex features a new, wooden basketball floor, as well as brighter lighting. Bleachers were installed behind both baskets to expand the seating capacity.
“There’s a tremendous amount of pride and excitement,” Paine athletic director Tim Duncan said. “It’s an opportunity to showcase Paine College athletics and the institution itself in a way that deserves to be shown.”