Baylor To Dedicate Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. Basketball Practice Facility

Sept. 7, 2006

Media contacts: Nick Joos, associate athletics director/communications, (254) 710-3043 or (254) 709-9659 or Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, (254) 710-6275 or (254) 709-5959


Baylor University will dedicate the Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. Basketball Practice Facility, which is attached to the Ferrell Center, during a ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, on the men's basketball practice court.

A reception will follow in the Gray Weight Room, and guests are welcome to tour the facility. The public and media are invited to attend.

Speakers scheduled to participate in the ceremony include Baylor President John M. Lilley, Director of Athletics Ian McCaw, Head Women's Basketball Coach Kim Mulkey, Head Men's Basketball Coach Scott Drew, Public Campaign Coordinator Cathy Pleitz and Baylor student-athletes Jhasmin Player and Tim Bush.

For additional information, contact Baylor Associate A.D./Communications Nick Joos at (254) 710-3043 or (254) 709-9659 or Baylor Director of Media Relations Lori Scott Fogleman at (254) 710-6275 or (254) 709-5959.

KWBU-TV will provide TV and radio reporters with a clean audio feed of the ceremony.


The 42,990-square-foot state-of-the-art facility features the J-Hawk Limited and Nell Hawkins Practice Courts, two separate full-size courts that allow the men's and women's teams to practice at the same time. Each court is equipped with wall-mounted video equipment to provide coaches more information to modify instruction. The flooring systems in the practice courts are exact replicas of the Ferrell Center court, simulating the game day experience. The hydraulic goals are not just standard regulation, but are the actual units used at last year's men's and women's Final Four championships. The coaching suites have a second floor end zone view of their respective team's court, and the head coaches have private viewing balconies over each court.

Off the court, the teams will enjoy a highly advanced strength and conditioning center, big enough for both teams to use at the same time with room to spare. Fans can learn about Baylor basketball's past success in the hall of honor, and the program's greatest supporters can enjoy a reception area on game days.

Contractor: Whiting Turner Contracting Co.
Architect: Leo A. Daly
Square footage: 42,990 square feet
Project cost: $8 million


Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. always loved Baylor University. With both his parents being devoted alumni, he followed in their footsteps to become the family's next Baylor Bear. After a difficult first year, Jack Jr. left Baylor to enlist in the military, but he always planned to return and complete his degree. He quickly rose through the ranks in the military, graduating in the top 10 from officer training school and receiving many awards as company commander, despite lacking a college degree. He was stationed at Fort Hood, where he eventually received orders for Vietnam. Tragically, 22-year-old Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. lost his life in Vietnam and never returned to the university he loved.

Now, many years later, his parents, Jack and Martha Whetsel of Georgetown, Texas, have ensured their son's legacy at Baylor. The new basketball practice facility will help student-athletes develop the leadership skills for which Jack Jr. was known. One of the Whetsels' most prized possessions is a military boot presented to their son by his men in recognition of the deep respect they felt for the man who showed them how to lead. Now, the Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. Basketball Practice Facility will cultivate a new generation of leaders, both on and off the court. With the completion of the new basketball practice facility, Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. finally came home to Baylor.


Mr. and Mrs. Jack Whetsel -- Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. Basketball Practice Facility
Jim and Nell Hawkins -- J-Hawk Limited and Nell Hawkins Practice Courts
Rondy T. Gray -- Gray Weight Room
Mr. and Mrs. Drayton McLane Jr.
Julie and Jim Turner
Jay and Jenny Reid Allison -- Basketball Hall of Honor
Ted and Sue Getterman -- Getterman Office Suite (Men's Basketball)
Howard Dudgeon -- Dudgeon Office Suite (Women's Basketball)
Dary and Lindy Stone -- Stone Reception Room

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