UE officials dedicated their new $3 million Fifth Third Basketball Facility on Friday afternoon, one of many sports-related events happening during the Aces’ fall Homecoming weekend.
The building was funded all by private donations, and many parts of it pay tribute to those boosters as well as some of the most notable names associated with UE basketball.
Per director of development for athletics Lance Wilkerson and Beth Speer, the school’s director of stewardship & special events, here’s the story behind the names in the new practice facility:
—UE trustee John Daniel from Fifth Third Bank donated to garner naming rights for the entire facility.
—The men’s gym is named the “Alan and Sharon Braun Gymnasium.” Alan Braun is a former UE trustee and chairman of the board of trustees. His company helped design and build the new facility.
—At more than 90 years old, Dale Campbell is an honorary trustee and close to the men’s program. UE surprised him by naming the men’s surface “Dale Campbell Court.”
—The men’s players’ lounge is named after Jerry Sloan, the former UE player and then NBA coach who needs little introduction.
—The “Ottens Memorial Scoreboard” in the men’s gym is named for former player Eric Ottens, who died in a car accident after his graduation in 2006. Others made donations in Ottens’ memory, and their names are listed on a plaque under the scoreboard.
—The “Robert M. Kent Men’s Basketball Suites” are named for Robbie Kent, an Aces athletics supporter.
—The Gaudin Family Caoches’ Office on the men’s side is named for Bob and Linda Gaudin. Bob Gaudin formerly coached soccer at UE. His son, Brandon Gaudin, is a former UE play-by-play announcer who now does the same job at Butler.
—Women’s coach Oties Epps had his office named after Jim Domen, a UE sports booster.
—Ed Brown, a UE alum who now lives in Des Moines, Iowa, had the “Ed and Michele Brown Players’ Lounge” on the women’s side named for his family.
—UE honored Niel and Karen Ellerbrook with signage in the hallway that can be seen from both the men’s and women’s side of the facility. Niel Ellerbrook was the chairman of the board of trustees at UE and currently chairs a blue-ribbon committee for men’s basketball supporters.
—The practice facility’s Walnut Street entrance is named for Mark Lemond, a UE alum and trustee. Lemond is the former CEO and president of Shoe Carnival.
—The walkway on the west side of the building where columns stand is named the “Maikranz Family Walkway” for Ken and Martha Maikranz. Ken Maikranz is a UE alum and donor.
—Terry Oates, president of King’s Great Buys Plus, helped out UE with audio/video equipment, furniture and appliances in the new facility.