Renovations Made At Sixers' Practice Facility
As members of the media arrived at the Sixers’ training facility on the campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, they noticed the distinct smell of freshly applied paint that filled the lobby.
When they stepped on the gymnasium floor for post-practice interviews, they saw why.
Over the past month, the Sixers have completely redesigned their practice court, adding additional room for strength and recovery exercises and installing new hardwood that replicates the floor on which the team plays during regular season home games.
“We wanted to mark it, where [players] would come into the gym and go, ‘Oh, this is the Philadelphia 76ers’ practice court’ and feel a little bit more at home,” said head coach Brett Brown. “We tried to take an existing facility and really make it work. For us, that meant sanding the floor down and shifting the whole court closer to the sideline so that the third basket could be a working station.”
The first wave of the renovations began early in the offseason with the hanging of banners (absent in the photo above due to repainting) representing the franchise’s three championship teams, the eight players whose jerseys have been retired by the team, and all their former All-Stars and postseason award-winners. While the Sixers were at Stockton College in Galloway Township, NJ last week for training camp, the finishing touches were made.
“We were spoiled at Stockton with all that space and got to see what we’ll have when we get our new facility,” said Brown of the university’s four-court setup.
Luckily, the wait won’t be too much longer for Brown and his staff. Earlier this year, the team announced plans to build a state-of-the-art, 120,000 square foot training center on the Camden, NJ waterfront. Ground is expected to be broken later this year, with a targeted completion date some time in 2016.
“Instead of complaining about it [until then], we wanted to take what we presently have, this footprint, and make it as good as we can for the next two years so that we can maximize our practice time,” Brown said.
Last week, Sixers Managing Owner Josh Harris spoke about the importance of providing his coaches and players with a world-class facility in which to work.
“[There has been] lots of planning, lots of thinking and re-thinking,” Harris told Sixers.com about the amount of thought that has gone into the construction of the team’s new training center. “We’re looking forward to putting that thing up... and giving the players, coaches, and management a great new place to work, the best in the NBA.”