Academy of Art's new Jerrold Facility unlocks opportunity for Urban Knight artist-athletes
Courtesy Art U Sports Information
San Francisco, Calif. - Welcome to a new era in Academy of Art University athletics.
It was a proud moment on Thursday morning, Nov. 29, as the Urban Knight basketball team had its first opportunity to practice on ART U's newly-opened Jerrold Facility complete with a custom-designed court.
The gym floor measures 60 feet x 120 feet in size features NBA-caliber baskets. The baskets themselves are adorned with Urban Knights logos and the floor also proudly reflects the NCAA mark for the only art school in the association to date. In addition, the floor provides adjustments compatible with volleyball.
"Academy of Art University is extremely proud to open our new practice facility in close proximity to our campus here in the heart of the city of San Francisco," Athletic Director Kevin Price said. "This will enable our student-athletes to benefit from the experience of an NBA-level facility and minimize conflicts with class schedules. This is an absolute win-win situation for our institution and the athletics department. All Urban Knights should be proud of the tangible support we receive from our administration, especially our President, Dr. Elisa Stephens, who green-lighted this project."
The process to arrange this new facility required the coordinated efforts of Stephens, Price, Athletics Operations Manager Easton Henrikson, Executive Director of Transportation/Logistics Allen James, and Publications Production Assistant Mateo Tayamen.
"Jerrold has opened up opportunities for our program that did not previously exist," Julius Barnes, Art U's men's basketball said. "Our student-athletes now have a facility that will allow them to continue to hone their skills. The extra work that they put in will pay dividends individually and collectively. Special thanks to Dr. Stephens, Kevin Price and former Director of Athletics Dr. Jamie Williams for seeing this through."
The court itself is complemented by an adjacent weight room that is occupied by the ART U strength and conditioning staff, head coach Jeremy Layport, and assistant coach Jessica Balzano, who work with the athletes separate from practice times.
“We are ecstatic with the opening of our new practice facility," LaNay Larson, the head women's basketball coach stated. "It is top notch and will enable our student-athletes to maximize their potential on the court. Our program is extremely blessed that the Academy of Art University is so dedicated to helping our student-athletes succeed.”
Connor Sports Flooring, the company responsible for the Urban Knights' new floor, is not only the official NCAA® Final Four® surface provider, but also has installed gyms for numerous NBA and WNBA teams.
With designs that have set the standard for innovative solutions in sports flooring, Connor Sports Flooring has built more than 75,000 game courts in the United States and abroad.
"When I was interviewing for this position, I was shown the empty space where our new practice facility was going to be built," Ed Jackson, the women's volleyball head coach said. "I am thrilled not only in the fact that the project is completed, but the facility is fantastic with an amazing floor and brand new volleyball equipment. Having our own facility will improve access to training for our student-athletes and allow us more flexibility with scheduling around classes. It's a great step in the university's commitment to providing an enriching environment for our teams to develop and improve just like they do in our classrooms around campus. We are anxious to take the floor for the first time and begin our quest for an amazing 2013."
Academy of Art University athletics commenced use of this facility on Nov. 29. Stay tuned to www.artuathletics.com for future facilities developments.