McCarthey Athletic Center Opens
Oct. 23, 2004
SPOKANE, Wash. - Saturday was the day the McCarthey Athletic Center came to life.
After nearly three years of preparation - and one day shy of exactly 18 months since the groundbreaking ceremonies of April 24, 2003 - the doors to the McCarthey Athletic Center swung open to a near-capacity crowd of 6,000 for the Grand Opening.
Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth welcomed the crowd to the Grand Opening ceremonies. In addition to thanking the McCarthey family and others for their efforts in the project, Roth thanked the people in the stands for the role they played in helping make the McCarthey Athletic Center a reality.
University President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer offered his welcome and gave the invocation. Fr. Spitzer, with the help of head men's basketball coach Mark Few and women's head basketball coach Kelly Graves, presented Tom and Phil McCarthey with a special "courtside" chair for them to take back to Salt Lake City.
"We know you have your courtside seats here, but we thought you should have one at home, too," Spitzer said.
Each chair was mounted with an engraved piece of flooring that marked the special dedication ceremonies.
Spitzer also said the university has the best on-campus basketball facility under 20,000 capacity anywhere in the country.
Fr. Michael Moynahan blessed the McCarthey Athletic Center, and Few and Graves also expressed their appreciation to the McCarthey family and others for the new home of Bulldog basketball.
"Now it's up to you," Few said to the fans as he concluded his speech, "to continue to make this the toughest place in the country to play."
Following the speeches, Spike the Bulldog mascot rappelled from the rafters with the scissors for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at mid-court. With women's basketball senior Ashley Burke and Graves at one end of the ribbon and men's basketball senior Ronny Turiaf and Few at the other end, the McCarthey brothers cut the bright red ribbon to officially open the facility.
Gonzaga's men's and women's basketball teams were introduced to the cheering throng on hand, and the men's team held a 35-minute scrimmage.
The White team connected on 9-of-16 3-pointers, paced by Morrison's 3-for-6, while the Blue squad hit on just 1-of-14 from beyond the arc.
The Bulldogs will open the exhibition season Nov. 5 when Emporia State University visits the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldog women will make their exhibition debut one night later against Lewis-Clark State College. Both games begin at 7 p.m. Gonzaga's men will also have a Blue-White exhibition on Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.
The regular season in the McCarthey Athletic Center opens Nov. 19 when the men host Portland State University, with the women tipping of their season the next day against Utah Valley State. Both of the regular-season openers begin at 7 p.m.
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