Rec center plan in students’ court

Jason Okamoto

In my final semester I plan to prove that I am the best basketball player at Sacramento State. I originally planned to prove this by taking part in mid-day one-on-one games with the likes of Hornet basketball players Joel Jones, Chris Lange, and especially Jameel Pugh. The only problem is that there aren’t any basketball courts available for use during the day. Coincidently; my balling skills peak around noon.

Open gym offers limited hours from 7p.m.-10p.m. on weekdays. Other facilities also restrict availability. The cardio weight room is open five hours on weekdays,while the free weight room is only open for four.

The kinesiology department and athletics sports teams take up the most time in weight rooms, University Union Director Leslie Davis said. I suppose it’s assumed that the rest of us get our daily fitness workout by pushing elevator buttons and lifting pencils.

In past years, efforts have been made by the University Union and Associated Students, Inc. to build a recreation center.

The referendum hadn’t passed in the past due to the lack of outside investment, Davis said. If passed, the cost would have added to student fees, which did not appeal to the student voters in 1999. They would have graduated before it was ready for use.

The University Union has a new plan underway for the Wellness/Recreation/Events Center. Focus groups are forming and consist of on-campus organizations and interested students. Officials hope to ensure that every possible need is met if the center is built. ASI president Peter Ucovich has hope that outside investments will cover the cost of financing the center so students paying nothing. Ucovich’s vision is a lush complex with state-of-the art gym equipment, a large basketball arena, and an eatery where students can hang out. The center would also be used for special events such as concerts and conventions.

“Sac State facilities are nothing compared to UC Davis’s Rec Center,” said student Scott Murdoch. He’s a frequent user of the current gym. Not all students are aware of the much nicer facilities on other campuses, however.

“Students don’t know what they are missing,” said Ken Morton, Rec Sports coordinator.

The planning is still in early stages. Some questions must be answered in order to move forward.

If the center were built, would students use it?

Al William,weight room supervisor and student,said he would like to see a better weightlifting area at Sac State, but is skeptical if it would attract more students to workout on campus.

“If it did end up looking like a 24-Hour Fitness, at least it would get people in the door,” Williams said. How would the Union ensure that students could work out at various hours of the day?

Students need more flexible access, because of tight schedules. Some prefer early morning workouts, while others enjoy a late night pick-up game to relieve stress from classes.

Would team sports take priority or continue to use other gyms?

Plans for the center place it near the stadium where locker rooms and a weight room currently exist. The new center would make it possible for students like myself and athletes to partake in athletic competition.

Students have the opportunity to develop answers to these questions and some of their own if they choose to get involved in the planning process.

Supporting this initiative can’t prove that I am the best basketball player on campus. Not this year anyway. But if the arena is built, even a guy like me could get on the court and have a chance to show my stuff.


Send your comments to Jason Okamoto at [email protected]