Oglethorpe University’s Pinholster Court at Dorough Field House will have a fresh look starting with the 2015-16 basketball season, as the playing surface has been refashioned into the “blacktop,” one of the most unique college basketball (and volleyball) courts in the country.
The court design replaces the old wood-colored floor with a triple-stained black playing surface and features the school’s Stormy Petrel athletics logo at center court. It also includes updated lettering along the end lines. The unique court design represents the only truly all-black collegiate basketball court in the country and, combined with the classic setting of Dorough Field House, will create one of the most unique gameday atmospheres in the country for basketball and volleyball contests.
“We’re excited about this opportunity for our teams to play on a state-of-the-art court in such a unique setting as Dorough Field House has proven to be,” said Director of Athletics Becky Hall. “The excitement around campus by our athletes and campus community about the ‘blacktop’ is great to be a part of; there is a lot of positive buzz about it. Positive change is something to be proud of and to build momentum around, and that is what we expect to do with this. Our three teams have a great surface and atmosphere to compete on and in.”
Oakland University, Northern Illinois University and the University of Central Florida, all Division I schools, have gone to black floors to some degree over the last couple of years. Oakland is the most similar to the “blacktop” design, with a lighter black stain consistent over the whole court. Northern Illinois and UCF have much of their floor stained black with lighter stains inside the three-point arc.
“I’m really excited about our court,” said Head Men’s Basketball Coach Philip Ponder. “It is unique and one-of-a-kind in the nation, and I honestly think it is the best-looking court I’ve ever seen. What I like most about the court is how excited our guys are about it. Other than after big wins, I’ve never seen them more excited about something. We all think we have the coolest court in the country, and it’s awesome that they are so proud of it. I think the court is something that Oglethorpe University in general, and not just our basketball and volleyball teams, can be really proud of.”
“It’s really exciting to have one of the nation’s most unique courts that we call our home,” said Head Volleyball Coach Richie Tang. “When we told our players what the plan was for the court, everyone was very excited about playing on something so different. It will be a great surface for our team to play on for years to come.”
“Our gym has always been a great place to watch a game,” said Head Women’s Basketball Coach and 2011 Oglethorpe graduate Alex Richey “and now with this court, we have once again set ourselves apart from the rest of the country in terms of our unique playing surface.”
The Oglethorpe men’s basketball team will open the new “blacktop” surface during their season opener Saturday against Toccoa Falls. That game will get started at 7 p.m. The first women’s basketball home game of the season will be against crosstown rival Emory Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The volleyball team will play their first event on the new “blacktop” with their spring tournament against West Georgia and Huntingdon April 9. Their first official match on the revamped Pinholster Court will be over Labor Day weekend next year, when they open their regular season with the 2016 Stormy Petrel Challenge.