Thereâ€™s a new floor on campus that offers a little more than just a surface to trod on the way to your next class.
Earlier this year, in search of a new floor, menâ€™s head basketball coach Tom Smith, former womenâ€™s coach Josh Keister and former Athletic Director Mark Linder traveled to Chicago to be educated on the subject of floors.
Eventually the group came across Connor Hardwood Courts, who provided playing surfaces for universities such as Mizzou, Kansas and North Carolina.
This summer Kansas Cityâ€™s Acme Flooring was contracted to install the Connor court.Â The $310,000 floor is being paid for by the MAX Experience program, which borrowed the money from the University and will gradually pay it back.
The new floorâ€™s most distinguishing feature is the massive Griffon mascot proudly displayed at center court.Â The Griffonâ€™s wingspan almost reaches from one three-point line to the other.Â
Itâ€™s as big as the familiar jayhawk on KUâ€™s new basketball court.Â According to Assistant Athletic Director, Brett Esely, it was important for the new floor to have something eye-catching that let people know right away they were seeing Missouri Western.
â€œThatâ€™s kind of the trend that a lot of institutions are going to,â€ Esely said.Â
One of the most beneficial aspects of the new floor is how much easier it is supposed to be on athletesâ€™ bodies.Â The new floor is made of a high quality hard maple wood, and it features a special suspension system which is supposed to offer a softer feel than the old floor, which was simply slapped down on a concrete pad.Â Â Â
When asked how she liked the new floor compared to the old one, senior guard Yanique Javois said, â€œI love it.Â It plays so much softer.â€
The old floor, which had been in place since 1993, was very hard and caused athletes physical problems, particularly with their knees and shins.Â Kate Esely, an assistant athletic trainer at Missouri Western, has actually overheard other teams complaining about the old floor after games.Â Brett Esely also mentioned that Sports Illustrated actually wrote a story on ACLâ€™s, and they used Missouri Westernâ€™s old court as an example.
â€œThat first year it was down, our womenâ€™s basketball team tore three ACLâ€™s,â€ Esely said.
The new floor will be appreciated by more than just the Griffon basketball players.Â According to Esely, the floor is used by all the Griffon athletic programs from the baseball and football teams to the tennis and volleyball players.Â It will also continue to host events such as intramural basketball, convocation and commencement ceremonies.