Written and Media by Barry Nixon.
During the 2016-2017 school year, we were the home of the Greenville College Panthers. As of the 2017-2018 school year, we transition into a university, which many people think sounds like an easy change. On the contrary, lots of work and planning has to be done when it comes to building or remodeling things like a new sports facility.
H.J. Long Gymnasium was built in 1961 and was named after the fifth president. The gym holds approximately 2,000 fans and serves as the main court for the women’s and men’s volleyball and basketball teams. H.J. is a two-story building that holds a recreational gym and main gym floor on the first floor. It also has four locker rooms and a training room. The second floor holds administrative offices for coaches and athletic directors.
During the 2016-2017 spring semester, Greenville College was planning on becoming a university and the administrators were planning on make bigger and better changes for the school. When it comes to athletics, the university has changed the logo and has made the Panther look more vicious, with a more angry vibe.
In addition to the new logo we’ve also made changes to the new gym floor. Having this new floor will encourage more fans to come see the games and check out the new gym floor. Having a new shining hardwood floor makes the court look well-planned and nice. Greenville has added new colors around the court, allowing the players to see the lines better. The wood also helps athletes jump higher because of the springs under the wood. The new H.J. Long Gymnasium has new banners with everyone in the SLIAC Conference that Greenville will end up playing throughout each sport season. There are new quotes throughout the gym that inspires the previous athletes and new incoming athletes when they approach the court. Having a feeling of being on the new gym floor brings lots of joy to athletes’ faces.
It's finally finished! Check it out the new HJ Long Gymnasium! Come see it for yourself! #TogetherGU pic.twitter.com/jzg3X6d1m9
— Greenville Panthers (@GUPanthers) September 25, 2017
After talking to the Men’s Basketball Coach, he says that the new gym floor comes with a lot of pros. Coach Groves states that “There are three main points of improvement and that is the logo that’s in center court. Another point was the new font and text that runs down the sidelines and baselines, and the last main point is that Coach Ackerman and I decided on doing the two-tone colorway on the court. So if you look at the court the inside of the three-point perimeter is a lighter gray and on the outside of the three-point line is the wooden court. This court having new colors, logos, and text allows our court to be less boring and stand out when we have teams play us. Also we’ve added lines around all goals so it makes it easier for practices for all sports so that we won’t have to put athletic tape down on the court to mark the lines.”
Seeing all of the new improvement to this the new court opening was a big deal and had lots of pros to the Greenville athletic facilities.