Long Beach State’s new beach-themed court design is subtle yet distinctive

Some of the non-traditional court designs that have popped up recently throughout college basketball turned out too garish for many fans' taste.

Long Beach State's, on the other hand, is distinctive without being overdone.

Since its campus is located three miles from the shoreline and its teams wear "The Beach" on the front of their jerseys, Long Beach State decided to give its basketball court a palm tree-themed makeover. Four palm trees frame the court, each in gold to reflect the look of a Southern California beach.

Long Beach State's revamped floor is further proof that the trend of unusual court designs in college basketball will not disappear anytime soon. Boise State football began the fad with its ubiquitous blue field, but the movement has infiltrated basketball during the past two years.

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Oregon generated headlines nationwide in 2010 when it unveiled a controversial orange and tan fir tree-lined floor with a barely visible mid-court line at newly built Matthew Knight Arena. Next came Towson University's decision last summer to give its basketball court some orange watermark tiger stripes. Then last fall, Cal State Bakersfield installed an all-blue court and Northwestern flirted with the idea of going all-purple before sticking with a more basic design instead.

Long Beach State's design could have been as outlandish as any of those had the 49ers adopted one of the other proposed looks.

School administrators, and basketball and volleyball coaches considered 10 designs during the past 10 months, most of them beach-themed. One included beach chairs similar to the ones in Corona's ad campaign. Another featured an all-black court. Others had the school's LB logo at center court instead of "The Beach."

The one the 49ers chose has received almost exclusively positive reviews so far from fans, media and players.

"Classy, simple, gives us a personality and strengthens our brand as 'The Beach,'" one Long Beach State message board poster wrote.

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Echoed another, "Looks great! Its going to be huge for recruiting."

The first game on the new floor will be Long Beach State women's volleyball's home opener against James Madison on Thursday night. The men's basketball team won't christen the new floor until Nov. 10 against North Alabama.

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