Aug. 1, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Lisa Bluder felt something different Monday as practices resumed for the trip to Europe. Practice was a little bit cooler than the first three practices two weeks ago.
Bluder and her Hawkeyes were the first team to officially use the new practice facility in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The women’s basketball team practiced from 1-4 p.m. (CT) and broke in the facility, complete with air conditioning.
The floor at Carver-Hawkeye Arena isn’t air conditioned, making summer workouts a little toasty.
“It was great to finally be in here today,” Bluder said. “The air conditioning was amazing, considering the humidity that was outside today.”
Cool temperatures aren’t the only perk of the brand new, state-of-the-art practice facility. A total of eight baskets surround the facility, which gives the student-athletes more space for running drills and smaller groups to work on fundamentals.
“It was so great to be in this facility today,” senior Kelly Krei said. “We had so much more room for shooting free throws and doing two-on-two or three-on-three drills. We all can’t wait to get back in here tomorrow for practice.”
Bluder said it was a privilege to be the first team to use the newest facility on campus.
“We felt really honored to be the first team to practice in here,” Bluder said. “We talked about initiating the facility in a way that represents Iowa basketball. We worked extremely hard, we had great focus and we broke it in the right way.”
Krei was anxious to step into the new facility for the first time.
“I’m a senior, so we have talked about this place for a while,” Krei said. “It’s really cool to see it up and running. We have our own place now, which is awesome.”
Bluder could sense the excitement from her student-athletes when they opened the doors to start practice.
“The players were really excited when they walked in today,” Bluder said. “They were so happy that this facility is open. They have access to this facility whenever they want to improve their game. Everyone is pretty excited.”
The new practice facility is equipped with air conditioning and eight hoops, but Bluder noted a few more of the amenities that stood out during the first day in the gym.
It’s so bright in here,” Bluder said. “The lighting is great and the new floor looks outstanding. You almost had to pinch yourself today because we were finally able to use this facility.”
Judging from the team’s excitement after the first day in the new practice facility, there will be a few more pinch marks during the week.