SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball fans got a sneak peek not only at the newly installed Leavey Center floor with its one-of-a-kind design, but also the 2016-17 team under the direction of first-year head coach Herb Sendek during Friday's 'First Look' event.
Fans were invited to watch one of the team's practices as it prepares for an exhibition tour to Italy where the Broncos will play three games during a 10-day period later this month.
For many at the meet-and-greet, it was their first opportunity to hear from Sendek, who was hired in March.
Sendek and director of athletics Renee Baumgartner addressed the crowd at the conclusion of the workout.
"We have an extraordinary group of guys who are going to be really easy to cheer for," Sendek said. "They are going to make you all very proud. I know one thing, I am tremendously blessed to be able to come here and coach these guys. My life is enriched by the opportunity to coach them."
The Broncos begin the regular season in November, but the three-time conference coach of the year already wants a full Leavey Center.
"Let's support them, let's get the word out, let's make every single seat in this building filled,' Sendek said.
The hiring of Sendek is one of the many first-year highlights for Baumgartner.
She also hired a veteran coach in Bill Carr to lead the women basketball program and spearheaded an upgrade to Leavey Center. The men's and women's basketball teams moved into state-of-the-art locker rooms during the 2015-16 season, and the new playing surface was unveiled in June.
The court features a large stain painting of a photograph of Santa Clara University's iconic Mission Church. Tinker Hatfield, NIKE's vice president for design and special projects, designed the floor, which is believed to be the first of its kind. No known playing surface incorporates an image of a campus building in its design.
NIKE also assisted in the design of a style change and logo enhancement, which was unveiled in January.
Aided by the President's Blue Ribbon Report, a template that shows Santa Clara University's commitment to athletics, Baumgartner was able to increase sport budgets and department staffing during her first year.
"This is an exciting time to be a Bronco," Baumgartner said. "It's hard to believe that I have been a part of this wonderful university for 13 months, but time flies when you're having fun."
The season ticket renewal process is underway and concludes Friday, Sept. 16. Prospective season ticket holders may place a $50 deposit for priority access once the renewal window ends. Beginning Monday, Sept. 19, new season ticket holders may begin selecting their seat locations.
For questions, please contact the ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu.
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