JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman's men's basketball program has a nicer place to nest after summer renovations to the existing locker room facility were completed earlier this month.
Crews transformed what was a three room area into one large open space replete with hand-crafted lockers, three leather couches and multiple plasma screen TVs.
"We're very proud of this place," Carson-Newman head men's basketball coach Chuck Benson said. "This has been 20 years coming. We've been very fortunate that we had a former player step up in a major way, then a couple more contribute as well to help make this thing happen (financially). We have what we think is the best locker room in NCAA Division II that we believe will be a selling point for our program."
The locker room renovation was funded through private donations.
The locker room opens on an Eagle mural that greets visitors head on. A cut into an alcove and past pictures of all the Eagles' returning letter winners and the room opens into a vast space capable of containing even the largest post player.
To the left is a fridge stocked with sports drinks and chocolate milk. To the right, the lockers – built from a dark cherry – with a personalized masthead for each player above their personal belongings. At the very back of the room is the players' lounge, with leather couches, a pair of flat screens and a customized white board for Benson to diagram plays.
"The greatest thing about this area is that it's a place for our guys to spend time together in a relaxed environment," Benson said. "From a work standpoint, it's got everything we need; but it will also enable for us to grow closer together as a family and as a community."
Highcraft USA of Johnson City and Ray Jones with the assistance of Tim Hughes and Jeff Blevins put the locker room together and acted as lead designers. Woodcraft of Morristown and Tim Elliot custom made the lockers. Foster Signs of Jonesboro, Tenn. was responsible for creating the graphics and any signage in the locker room with the help of owner Tom Foster. Braden's Furniture and Gary Braden of Knoxville helped supply the sofas and tables.
Carson-Newman Men's Basketball Locker Room Renovation