Lady Bears dig new denNov. 17, 2005
by JORDAN DANIEL, sports writer
Winning a national championship has its perks. The Lady Bears' new locker room inside the Ferrell Special Events Center reflects that.
Donors came forward to fund the new facility following the Lady Bears' run through the NCAA Tournament in April, and construction began in the summer while the Lady Bears were taking classes and participating in off-season conditioning programs.
"The new locker room is way better than the other one," sophomore guard Angela Tisdale said. "The old one was like a rat hole compared to the new one. I love it. My favorite part is the hot tub."
The first room encountered in the new locker room is the players' lounge. The room features a big-screen plasma television. While watching the plasma screen, the Lady Bears can relax on leather, sectional couches before and after practice.
Adjacent to the lounge is a fully equipped kitchen complete with a sink, microwave and stainless-steel refrigerator.
"I haven't really got a chance to use the kitchen yet," senior guard Chameka Scott said. "But I thought about bringing in some leftover pizza today to eat for lunch, but I saved it at home instead."
Immediately to the right of the entrance is the video classroom. The room comes with state-of-the-art video equipment and stadium seating for the players and coaches to prepare for games by watching film. The screen in the video room descends from the ceiling with the push of a button.
Scott's favorite part of the locker room is the team locker area.
A laptop is included in each locker, and each computer is linked to a printer in the locker area for the players' use.
"My very favorite thing is probably the laptops," junior guard Latoya Wyatt said. "I use it a lot, especially on the road when you need to get schoolwork done."
Each player has her own favorite place in the new locker room, but Scott is partial to the area where the players spend the majority of their time together.
"It's something just for the girls," Scott said. "If you came in and looked at it you would say, 'Oh, that's cool,' but it means a lot more to us."
The brand-new locker room is modeled after professional facilities, with a whirlpool and a sauna available for the players at all times. The Lady Bears are content with the at-home feeling it has.
"I love the new locker room. It makes you feel like you are at home," Wyatt said. "They made it feel like it's a home away from home.