After more than 100 years of magnificent history, there is now a home to celebrate the game of men’s collegiate basketball.
The College Basketball Experience, a world class entertainment facility connected to Sprint Center by the Grand Lobby, is two floors and 41,500 square feet of basketball exuberance. It houses the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, where visitors can honor college basketball legends and learn about the history of the game.
But The CBE is not just a place where you go and look. The word “experience” is in the title because that’s exactly what fans can do – experience the game of college basketball.
At “Beat The Clock,” fans try to make a game-winning shot before the buzzer sounds, mirroring some of college basketball’s greatest moments. At “Step To The Line,” fans face the pressure of a hostile arena while attempting to make as many consecutive free throws as possible in a set amount of time. Or they can play like the big boys on one of the Slam Dunk courts with rims at six different heights.
Virtually every skill of the game has an activity station – rebounding, passing, three-point shooting, free throw shooting and more. For a change of pace, visitors can sit down at the ESPNU desk and call the highlights of actual NCAA basketball action. There are also numerous kiosks with fascinating insight from coaches and players about college basketball.
The atmosphere – the energetic sights and sounds of college basketball – penetrates the entire facility with a constant supply of audio, video and larger-than-life visual graphics.
“There is no other place like this in America,” says Kevin Henderson, CEO of The College Basketball Experience. “It is definitely not a museum. It is a high-energy, highly-interactive place where casual and hard core fans of any age can totally immerse themselves in the game of college basketball.”
Since opening in October of 2007, The CBE has garnered rave reviews from all around the country. The response from fans has been overwhelming, as well as from companies and organizations who rent the facility for private functions. The CBE has hosted college basketball players and coaches, and even these “experts” have been impressed.
Bill Self, head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks, says he is “blown away” by The CBE. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski calls it “one of the most exciting, immersive entertainment venues in the world.” Tom Izzo of Michigan State said, “Wow! That’s my reaction. It’s incredible.”
Tubby Smith may have summed it best by saying, “It’s a spectacular showplace for college basketball.”