Arena Floor Gets a "Panther" Facelift

Panther fans will notice something a bit different about the US Cellular Arena the next time UWM tips off here in Milwaukee. A new (and quite impressive) floor will be unveiled which will stand in stark contrast to the old, very plain court that has been around since 2004. The old floor had tiny Milwaukee Basketball logos that were barely visible from the stands, and nothing at all other than the standard high school circle at center court. My how things have changed.

Taking a queue from nearly every other Horizon league team, and most every other D-1 basketball team in the country, the new floor features a prominent (read- huge) Panther logo at center court, Horizon League logos in each lane, painted lanes and TOTK areas, as well as painted 'Panther" baselines, complete with the claw marks indicative of what it takes for an underdog like UWM to make it (back) to the top.

I am hugely excited about this development as it has been suggested to the AD and the Wisconsin Center District by members of the Klotsche Krazies discussion board for about 2 years. Call it coincidence (the new court looks almost identical to a prototype developed by D-Board member, "Pantherdon" and submitted to the AD and WCD by others), or an idea advanced to the right administrative level and implemented at the right time, but Milwaukee Basketball can now proudly show off it's stylish new home floor to fans and foes alike when the '08-'09 season kicks off this November.

In other news, the team is reportedly working overtime this summer to perfect their game. They have been battling against Panther legends such as Joah Tucker, James Wright, Nate Mielke, Dylan Page, and Ed McCants among others on the courts inside the Pavillion and Klotchse Center. And from outside observations, the newcomers who are already here (Tone Boyle, James Dean, Patrick Souter, Riley Walker, and Ryan Haggerty) are making quite a splash when they aren't getting completely schooled by our heralded alums.

And also.... rumor has it that Avo is indeed coming back, and has been one of the most dedicated players on and off the court since being given this second chance (#0, Avery Smith, "Avo" averaged 15.5 pts in '06-'07 but was dismissed from the team last year for the ever-ambiguous "conduct detrimental to the team"). We'll wait for word on confirmation of his return before getting too excited about the potential for phenominal guard play that may be witnessed this year...

Let's hope the team is challenged so much that once they begin playing against regular season competition, their foes will seem inferior in all areas. This off-season is long, but soon enough, Panther Madness will launch what will hopefully be a new era of successful Panther Hoops. Bring a friend, a classmate (who will in turn be your new friend), a relative, your girlfriend or spouse, or even just yourself, and come join the steady growing flock of UWM fans at this year's home opener. I can guarantee this- you will be floored.