October 22, 2010
If the Oklahoma State basketball program loses a recruiting battle to one of its Big 12 adversaries, just know it probably wasn't because the Cowboys' facilities were inadequate.
Freshmen Mike Cobbins, Brian Williams and Markel Brown recently donned white bathrobes and took viewers on an MTV Cribs-style tour of the basketball team's newly built locker rooms, player's lounge and training facility. The $4 million privately funded project to expand the men's and women's basketball locker rooms at Gallagher-Iba Arena began on Nov. 2 2009 and was completed this month.
At a time when the quest to build better athletic facilities to attract recruits can often resemble an arms race, it's hard to imagine too many other top programs having more plush lounges or locker rooms than Oklahoma State. Here's a look at eight amenities Cobbins, Williams and Brown showcased that should make opposing players very envious.
1. FLAT SCREENS EVERYWHERE: There are more flat screens in Oklahoma State's new facility than on the floor of most Best Buys. In addition to the five in the player's lounge above, there are flat screens in front of the hot and cold tub and in the locker room, weight room and meeting room.
2. A SWEET SOUNDSYSTEM: Forget iPods, CD players and radios. Oklahoma State has a facility-wide soundsystem hooked up with a control embedded in the walls of each room, allowing players to switch to a new song whether they're lifting weights, watching TV or relaxing in the hot tub.
3. POOL, ANYONE? Among the items in the player's lounge is a pool table complete with an Oklahoma State logo cue ball. That's just one of numerous unusual places the school logo appears in the facility, from chair backs to locker room mirrors to the bath robes.
4. ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Proof that Oklahoma State thought of everything: Hair dryers for players of all sizes. Six-foot-8 Mike Cobbins shows off the one designed for the big men in the screen shot above, while the one to his left is meant for guards.
5. LOCKER ROOM NAMEPLATES: It's not unusual for players to have their names above their lockers, but Oklahoma State's name plates are a little fancier than even those in most NBA locker rooms. They're illuminated and highlight each player's name, number and hometown.
6. PLUSH SEATS: If you're going to have five flat screens on one wall of the lounge, you might as well have some comfy chairs from which to watch them. Sure enough, Oklahoma State has movie theater-style leather recliners with foot rests and cup holders.
7. MARBLE STAIRCASES: In the ultimate monument to excess, the staircase from the basement to the first floor is marble. No the banisters are not made of platinum. At least not yet.
8. A PICTURESQUE CEILING: It's not quite the Sistine Chapel, but the ceiling of the Oklahoma State locker room includes a sculpture of an orange basketball with the school logo in the middle of it. Did we mention the logo is everywhere?