Basketball facilities like UConn's future project are obviously necessities to attract recruits these days, but I think the bigger-picture motive is to build sell the basketball program to anyone that comes into Storrs--whether donors, fans, or strangers. UConn is in desperate need of this because in my opinion, our branding isn't nearly as big as it should be considering the success on the court, championships, and NBA pedigrees. The elite equipment and player facilities is a given with these projects, I get that. But integrating it with the public is essential. If some money spent on this project isn't benefiting the Storrs visitor's experience, it's not going to create more money in the future. It can't be just a nice building to look at built to lure 5 star recruits. I walked into the University of Maryland arena (Comcast Center) a couple weeks ago, since I was in the area. Immediately greeting me was a spacious lobby centered around their 2002 National Championship trophy. Along the wall is a giant piece of 2002 Final Four half-court, with huge pictures everywhere of past players, uniforms and memorabilia. They have some interactive exhibits featuring radio calls of the women's national title also. Keep in mind: this is Maryland basketball we're talking about, really not even close to an A-list program. And yet with this layout, the casual visitor walking in would think Juan Dixon and Chris Wilcox were gods. Would the casual visitor walking into UConn's gym even know the greatest 3 point shooter in NBA history played here? Or that a Hall of Fame coach walks the sidelines? If someone was passing through Storrs over the summer and wanted to see Gampel, would their experience even come close to something like myself passing through Maryland? People complain that fans treat UConn games is almost treated as a "get in and get out" duty rather than an experience, but part of that is on the program. If the Basketball Center is done correctly, this will hopefully change since the Gampel area will become more of a destination. And the best part is, it's cheap and it's easy. Hanging up a row of NBA jerseys with UConn names, letting viewers walk past the 3 championship trophies on their way in, creating a small shrine-like setup of program history. Kansas recently renovated the Phog and created a museum filled with all kinds of memories like this. It gives you the chills just walking around it, and that's before you even step into the historic arena. A ton of MLB teams have gotten in on the act too, with team Hall of Fames intertwined with their new stadiums. Bottom line: the Basketball Center can't completely follow the Burton-Shenkman model, it needs to have that public dimension. This stuff is very inexpensive and simple to coordinate, but will pay incredible dividends both short and long term.