Multi-million dollar gift helps VCU basketball

Posted at 11:52 AM, Feb 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-25 11:53:33-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The VCU Rams are getting a new place to practice HAVOC.

MeadWestvaco Corporation (MWV) announced Monday a $3 million pledge to help Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics build a new VCU Basketball Complex. The money, to be paid out over a 10-year period, is the largest gift in VCU Athletics history, the university said. The complex would be built near the Siegel Center.

“For many years, they have invested in education and research initiatives at VCU, and their latest gift to athletics will further enhance our university’s ability to compete on the national stage,” VCU President Michael Rao said in a statement. “Athletics is an important window into VCU for so many people, and MeadWestvaco’s latest gift is a game-changer for our athletics program.”

According to a university release, the practice facility allows VCU to put basketball strength training, academic advising, video study, individual-skill development, team meals and practice in the same place.

Our program is extremely thankful for this tremendous gift,” said VCU’s head men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “The new practice facility will mean a great deal to our team. Not only will it enhance the student-athlete experience and provide a competitive advantage, it will also be critical to our ongoing efforts to attract high level student-athletes to VCU.  We are very appreciative of MWV and the partnership we share.”