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Texas Tech shows off $32 million basketball facility to Lady Raider, Red Raider community

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 9:39 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Now that two head coaches with West Texas ties are at the helm of Texas Tech basketball, the program is now moving forward to bring in elite athletes with the Dustin R. Womble Basketball Center.

The long-awaited ribbon cutting was held Thursday with many from the Lubbock and Texas Tech community present.

Robert Giovanetti, Senior Associate Athletic Director, served as host for the day’s grand opening. Early on, he reminded those in attendance of the dimensions of the new facility.

“I want to thank for being here to open up the finest basketball facility in the country,” he said while pointing to the building. “This remarkable facility here is over 56,000 square feet, and it took over $32 million to construct.”

Long-time Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt said this investment will help the university maintain its advantage in attracting great athletes.

“It puts our basketball programs on the forefront of recruiting,” Hocutt said. “It puts our basketball programs on the forefront of student athlete well-being, and player development.”

With the center having cutting-edge features for men and women, the job became much less difficult for Lady Raiders’ second-year head coach, Krista Gerlich.

“There’s just nothing that our student athletes are going to want for. Very, very soon, we will have lots of kids on our campus walking through this. Every time you turn a corner, it’s a new feature.”

Associate Men’s Basketball Coach Barret Perry, who recently arrived to serve as assistant for new men’s coach Mark Adams, found his new office just days after landing in Lubbock. He also mentioned the features that impressed him most.

“I think the branding of Texas Tech all across the building, as well as the history that it shows of the program. Everything is state-of-the-art.”

While on the podium, Giovanetti described one of his favorite parts of the building.

“When you guys get in there and see on these practice floors, these video boards are unbelievable!”

Coach Gerlich talked about her favorite components as well.

“The locker rooms with the players’ lounges inside, where our players can really hang out... and just bond together, I think is going to be really cool. And, I think the weight room is spectacular.”

With social-distance restrictions lifting, both coaches are anxious to show off the place to high school students across the country.

“Everything has been Zoom-recruiting,” Perry said. “So, they’ve seen pictures and videos. And so, as the team comes together and then everybody gets here for summer school, I think they’ll be in awe of what they see.”

The Womble Center opened most of its facilities for fans and donors to see. Patrons were able to see the offices for Adams and Gerlich. The Lady Raiders’ head coach says the new place will serve as a vital stepping-stone to help the hoopsters achieve their goals.

“I think it’s just a great venue for our student athletes to become pros. That’s all they want to do!”

Funding for the project was made possible through private contributions made with “The Campaign for Fearless Champions”. While on the podium, Hocutt reinforced how Texas Tech’s program will continue to strive to be among the nation’s elite.

“Texas Tech takes a back seat to no one in this country. Absolutely no one!”

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