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East Carolina opens new basketball practice facility

Sep 21, 2013, 10:30 AM EST

CIT E Carolna Weber St Basketball AP
East Carolina opened a new $17 million basketball facility this week and the brand-new, state-of-the-art, Williams-Smith Center will give the Pirates’ program the ability to compete with high-major programs in the area.

With the move to the American coming soon, East Carolina is playing with the big boys now and this new facility gives them the ability to show recruits that they’re taking that next step rather seriously. Inside ECU Sports got a quick take from head coach Jeff Lebo and he sounds enthused for the new facility.

“It’s exciting to see a project go from an idea to the final thing,” Lebo told Inside ECU Sports. “A lot of people have chipped in a lot of different ways to help this become a reality and it’s something we all appreciate and don’t take lightly.”

The facility checks in at 49,000 square feet, connects to Minges Coliseum and provides full courts for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Previously, the Pirates had to wait for other programs like volleyball at times to get shots up, but this new facility gives them 24-hour access to their own court and allows them to play whenever they want.

East Carolina is already reaping the benefits of the new facility on the recruiting trail as they landed a crucial point guard commitment in Florida-native Lance Tejada at the end of August to go along with small forward Grant Bryant. In a class that is lacking in floor leaders, Tejada is a great start to East Carolina’s recruiting efforts in the 2014 class.

Inside ECU Sports has a photo gallery of the facility here.