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University of Miami basketball team wins $1 million donation

College of Physical Education, University of Miami.

Coaches Jim Lallanaga and Katie Meyer will soon have a new million-dollar training facility to show off to the University of Miami basketball recruits.

The university announced Tuesday that Miami alumni Steven Simmons and his wife, Susan, have pledged $1 million to transform the Wattsco Center’s function room into a 7,500-square-foot state-of-the-art training facility. Announced. women’s basketball.

Includes strength and conditioning rooms, recovery areas, nutrition bars, and office space for support and medical staff. The facility will be named the Susan and Steven Simmons Basketball Training Facility.

Larranaga, whose team is nearing the end of its first Elite Eight NCAA Tournament run, was overjoyed by the news.

“The generous contribution Simmons has made is a clear message to our players, programs and other supporters at the University of Miami that we intend to do things in a first class manner,” Lallanaga said in a statement. “We need more people to keep funding to do what it takes to stay competitive not just at the ACC but at the national level.”

He noted that last year, UM made a sizeable commitment to athletics by acquiring football coach Mario Cristobal to an $80 million deal, investing in football programs, and hiring athletic director Dan Radakovich from Clemson. Did.

“Dan is recognized as the builder who really invests in the infrastructure of an exercise program, so building new weight rooms and training rooms for the men’s and women’s basketball programs basically allowed Dan to build his blueprint. tell me you’ve arrived with a “He’s going to carry out his plan like he did at Georgia Tech and Clemson. The university will stand by him to help us succeed in all sports.”

Radakovich called the new training facility a “game changer” for the basketball program. Both programs attracted nationally coveted transfers in the offseason. Nijel Pack (Kansas) and his Norchad Omier (Arkansas) join the men’s team while twins Hanna and Haley Cavinder leave Fresno State for his UM.

Meier said the new facility will take the UM basketball team to new heights. Her team reached her first ACC title her game in March, defeating top 25 opponents in consecutive games, including Thriller in second-place Louisville.

“I cannot express how grateful the University of Miami women’s basketball program is for the generosity and dedication shown by Susan and Stephen,” Meyer said. “Elite performance on the basketball court is fueled not only by strength and conditioning, but also by recovery, nutrition and medicine. It will transform the way you train to compete.”

Larranaga said it is imperative that the facility continues to improve in order to compete in hiring.

“You can’t stand still in college track and field,” Larranaga said. “There are always new things, transfer portals, NILs, new rules, constantly reinventing and rebranding yourself.

Simmons has a home in Harrisburg and Fort, Pennsylvania. Lauderdale, Florida Stephen graduated from his UM College of Arts & Sciences in 1966 and his granddaughter Eleanor graduated from her UM this spring. Stephen is a member of the Golden Canes and has held his tickets to football and basketball seasons for many years.

“Miami University has been a big part of the happiest experiences and memories of my life so far,” Simmons said. “And now my granddaughter is a proud graduate of The U and is heading to Los Angeles for a Master of Fine Arts degree from the American Film Institute. I can assure you all, the happiest experience of my future.I met Susan at The U in 1964. We know that we can support sports programs that are invaluable to the college and alumni experience. I am very proud and very grateful. Go to the cane!”

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Miami Herald sportswriter Michelle Kaufman has covered 14 Olympic Games, 6 World Cups, Wimbledon, the US Open, NCAA basketball tournaments, NBA playoffs, and the Super Bowl, and has been a football writer and University of Miami basketball beat writer for 25 years. I have served. She was born in Frederick, Maryland and raised in Miami.