Basketball teams take to new Mariotti floor
Feb. 9, 2009

When the Panther basketball teams took the floor in November to begin their new seasons, they were welcomed back in grand style with a brand-new floor in Mariotti Gymnasium.

After a spirited lifespan of more than 50 years, the old one just couldn’t bounce back any more and needed replacing.

So this summer while the finishing touches were being put on other campus construction projects, a transformation took place inside the storied campus basketball arena. A new support system and wood floor were installed – and topped off with a large rendition of the new Panther logo.

“It looks great – especially with our new Panther,” said Dr. Linda Buchanan, Vice President and Dean for Student Life and Retention. “We hope it will last another 50 years.”

While the aesthetics of the new surface are what capture people’s attention, it is what is underneath that pleases Dr. Buchanan the most. An impressive underlayment system provides vital support for the athletes above.

“We know the health of our student-athletes is further ensured because of the replacement of this floor,” she said.

Warren Haynes, Men’s Basketball Coach, said his players have enjoyed the feel of the new floor.

“The floor is not only an upgrade for the health and longevity of our student-athletes, but a great addition to the look of Mariotti Gym, which is only one of a few ‘classic’ gyms that are still in use around the country,” he said. “This aesthetic upgrade will improve the look of the product being placed on the floor and help attract new quality student-athletes.”

Mark Isenhour, Women’s Basketball Coach, said the new floor has become a point of pride for the players.

“We are fortunate to play on a campus with tremendous athletic facilities, and the new floor helps to raise the bar of our programs,” he said. “It has been fun for our athletes to play on, and has helped in the recruitment of future Panthers.

One other recent addition enhances the Mariotti environment. A new fan system was installed thanks to Woodward Academy in Atlanta, who had outgrown the units and no longer needed them.

The massive fans will help control temperature and humidity for the benefit of athletes, spectators – and the new floor.

Now competition-ready, the surface is expected to see impressive action this winter, including the men’s basketball team’s 100th contest against Berry College on Dec.

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