Myrtle Beach native and Charlotte Hornets point guard Ramon Sessions has come to the aid of the college that signed him out of high school.
Sessions, who played for the Nevada Wolf Pack, donated $1 million toward the development of a basketball practice facility on the University of Nevada campus.
The facility will be named The Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center. The E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center set to open early in 2017, The Lombardi Recreation Center will be renovated and converted into a state-of-the-art facility. Construction is set to begin in late winter and is scheduled to be completed by August of 2017.
“For me, giving back to the University of Nevada means a lot,” said Sessions, who is entering his 10th season in the NBA and first year back in Charlotte with the Hornets after a previous stint with the Bobcats, in a press release from the team. He returns to Reno annually to put on a summer clinic for area children.
“This was always a second home for me, a place that gave me a chance when a lot of schools didn’t. Coming up as a college kid, we didn’t always have access to a gym. For me, with 10 years in the NBA, I’m blessed to give back to my second home. I’m excited about it. I know the coaches are excited about it. And once this gets going, I know the community will be excited about it,” Sessions said.
In addition to the dedicated space for basketball featuring two courts and eight baskets, the project will service all student-athletes at Nevada. Additionally, locker room space will be developed within the building for other Wolf Pack teams. Swimming pool and dive tank will remain in place for the Wolf Pack swimming and diving teams, coming off a Mountain West championship this year.
“This project is game-changing for the Wolf Pack and will have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of students for years to come. On behalf of the athletics department and the University, I want to thank Ramon for this historic gift to his alma mater,” said athletics director Doug Knuth. “We feel that the University of Nevada provides a tremendous opportunity for achievement in all facets of life. Ramon seized his opportunity at Nevada and we’re incredibly proud of all that he’s achieved, on and off the court.”
The Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center is the culmination of a unique collaboration between the University administration, intercollegiate athletics and the community.
University President Marc Johnson, Vice President for Administration & Finance Ron Zurek and Knuth worked closely together on maximizing the use of existing facilities which would have a dramatic impact on our programs' competitiveness, at a fraction of the cost. Once the Lombardi Recreation Center was identified as a basketball practice facility, athletics was then able to engage the community and share the vision.
Said University President Marc Johnson: “We thank Ramon Sessions for this truly transformative gift. Never before in the history of the University has a former student-athlete made such a significant—and program-changing commitment. His donation will allow Wolf Pack athletics to better serve all of our student-athletes for generations to come. Since leaving campus in 2007 to pursue his dreams, Ramon has represented the University and the northern Nevada community with great dignity and class. We are so proud of Ramon, and grateful for his generosity and the generosity of the other key donors in our community that have made the Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center a reality.”