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College basketball court designs taken to new level with local flavor

College basketball court designs are trending towards geography. The University of Massachusetts unveiled its new design at the start of the 2019-20 season, and the entire state map of Massachusetts is largely displayed across the court with the signature UMass logo sketched on top through the middle. Even Martha’s Vineyard is drawn onto the playing surface.

“The unique thing about men’s and women’s basketball is that the NCAA bylaws allow you to be more creative than football fields,” said Alan Pandiani, UMass’ associate athletics director for external operations. “The genesis of our court change came from us really wanting to tie in the state pride with the love of a basketball program. The reception this season has been fantastic.”

UMass, Nebraska and West Virginia are among a dozen schools to redesign in 2019, opting for a bigger look by adding giant silhouettes of their state outlines across center court. The sport’s trend for bold court designs can be traced to nearly a decade ago when the University of Oregon had legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield create a court meant to be an “iconic television presence” for the university. Tabbed “Deep in the Woods,” the design features silhouettes of the Pacific Northwest tree lines — as if student-athletes are lost in a nearby forest. 

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Universities have followed that creative blueprint to incorporate a city’s culture or accentuate a school’s feature — which is oftentimes being the premier university in the state.

UMass's Mulleins Center. This court is covered with a giant outline of Massachusetts.

“State pride is a major selling point,” added Nebraska senior associate athletic director for marketing Brandon Meier.

For some schools, culture and proximity are key. Florida International’s court is a beach painting with waves across one sideline and a sandy color throughout the playing surface. Colorado’s court has mountains on it. George Washington’s court has the Capital building, the White House and the Washington Monument. Washington State has the Seattle Space Needle in its design. Florida Atlantic features palm trees and the words, “1.8 mile from the beach” and “winning in paradise.”

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Adrian Woody
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Having the apt skills to play with words to put forth various updates and news relating to the field of technology in an interesting way has made Adrian is a contributor in our organization. He is dedicated to writing articles related to all the up-to-the-minute inventions, launches, updates, and much more happening in the world of technology. In his free time, Adrian offers a guest lecture to kids about the latest inventions.

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