College basketball: 9 of the most interesting court designs
The recent trend among college basketball programs is have to visually-stunning home courts. Some programs keep it simple, but for others the crazier the better.
Fans either love them or hate them, but there is no denying how much attention they grab. Let's take a look at nine of the most unusual and interesting court designs in college basketball today.
CSU Bakersfield, Icardo Center
If the blue turf became so iconic for Boise State, then it's worth a shot for a blue-top basketball court, right? It's the thinking that CSU Bakersfield may have had when creating its eclectic look in 2011. It seems to have worked for the Roadrunners. Three years after implementing the blue court, CSU Bakersfield updated the design elements while still keeping the bright background color.
Florida International, FIU Arena
Want to think of nice, warm, sandy beaches? Then look no further than Florida International's court design, which showcases its South Florida location. Back in 2013, the Panthers decided to take a bold approach with the original court redesign above and it definitely had people talking. The court did take a hit in Sept. 2014 after damages occurred at a non-FIU event, but luckily the court and its design returned back as good as new.
George Washington, Charles E. Smith Center
George Washington took advantage of its location and installed a new court in 2013 to reflect its rich Washington D.C. history. The court at the Charles E. Smith Center features a number of national landmarks such as the United States Capitol, White House and, naturally, the Washington Monument. George Washington coach Mike Lonergan must love stepping onto the court more than anyone. He grew up in and attended university in the district area. Check out the time lapse video released after the completion as well.
Long Beach State, Walter Pyramid
When your campus is three miles away from the beach, why not have a beach-themed basketball court? That's exactly what Long Beach State decided to do with its 2012 redesign. It serves as a cool reminder that you can watch some basketball and then catch some waves in the Pacific Ocean. Long Beach State also has a case for one of the coolest basketball arenas too with its pyramid architecture.
Memphis, FedEx Forum
In a city known for its BBQ and blues music, Memphis basketball has become synonymous with Bluff City. So in order to better reflect that, the athletic department decided to give Its home court at FedEx Forum a makeover. Tigers fans voted on four options; clearly, the fans have excellent taste with the city floor design they selected. The court features images of the Memphis skyline and the iconic Hernando de Soto Bridge that stretches across Interstate 40 and the Mississippi River. You can see all the work put into the forum with the department's time lapse video.
Northern Kentucky, John L. Griffin Court
One of the more recent changes, Northern Kentucky unveiled its new design in August. And it has a giant Viking ship painted on the floor. Good luck trying to invade the Norse's home territory. NKU wanted to change the court to represent its big move to the Horizon League. "We wanted a new, fresh look for the court to showcase the Norse brand," athletic director Ken Bothof said. "The Norse ship rising through the sea is meant to serve as a metaphor for the uprising of Northern Kentucky athletics."
Notre Dame, Purcell Pavilion
What says Fighting Irish more than a giant shamrock in the middle of the court? It gives Notre Dame a different look from other schools that incorporate state outlines in center court. Plus, the two-tone hardwood and deep blue really ties everything today. The court was installed as part of Notre Dame's massive renovation to the Joyce Center. The Purcell Pavilion opened in 2009 and the Irish have been playing on this art piece ever since.
San Jose State, Event Center
San Jose State certainly has one of the most intimidating court designs on this list. But it makes the image hard to forget and you can imagine how opponents must feel when they enter. Originally, only four Spartans were incorporated but coach Dave Wojcik suggested to add a fifth to represent the five guys on the court. Nothing says "protect your home court" more than having a frontline of five giant Spartans at your defense.
UTEP, Don Haskins Center
Whether or not you have an ax to grind with it, the design from the University of Texas-El Paso pays a fitting homage to its mascot. The mirroring pickaxes respect both the men's and women's programs and ties it together with the pick in the Miners' logo, too. The court is definitely eye-catching thanks to the orange tones as well, but it isn't too much in your face like others. It's a safe to say the Miners struck gold with this 2013-14 design. UTEP released a cool time lapse video too.