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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Breaks Ground for Mitchum Basketball Performance Center

At a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday, director of athletics Wood Selig said the Bernett and Blanche Mitchum Basketball Performance Center will raise Old Dominion University's men's and women's basketball programs to a new level of competitive excellence.

"This really sets ODU apart," Selig said of the $8.4-million, privately funded practice facility scheduled to open next fall behind the Ted Constant Convocation Center. "Not only does the Ted provide ODU one of the best home-court advantages in the country, but the Mitchum Center will soon be known as one of the nation's most extraordinary basketball training facilities."

Members of the Mitchum family, who named the facility for their parents, and 83 other donors contributed to complete funding of the 25,000 square-foot building. The performance center will boast a full court lined with six additional baskets, a separate half-court practice area with another basket, coaches' suites and player lounges, and multiple conditioning, training, meeting and dressing rooms for the men's and women's teams.

"Recruits and their families are increasingly buying with their eyes," Selig said. "Thanks to the Mitchum family and our donors, there will be 25,000-square feet of beauty for our recruits to behold next season."

Among the guests welcomed at the groundbreaking were Board of Visitors Rector Ronald Ripley, board member Carlton Bennett, former board members Marc Jacobson and Betsy Atkinson, and former men's basketball coach Blaine Taylor.

Speaking for his family, Anthony Mitchum thanked Old Dominion "for the honor of naming the performance center after our father and mother, Bernett and Blanche Mitchum. Thanks to them for their love, guidance and support that made all of us what we are today. It's a great day."

Selig added that the Mitchum Performance Center "is a bold and innovative step for ODU men's and women's basketball" that will contribute to "the culture of success that permeates and defines both of our basketball programs. That culture serves to drive the expectations and beliefs that surround each of our programs and makes us work harder."

A gallery of drawings and floor plan of the Bernett and Blanche Mitchum Basketball Performance Center can be viewed here.

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