Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 | 12:30 p.m.
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Las Vegas Sun reporter Taylor Bern and Ray Brewer talk about the UNLV basketball team at the halfway point of their season. At 16-2 overall, the No. 12 ranked Rebels have exceeded expectations. But, can they keep it going?
UNLV is putting the finishing touches on the $11.7 million Mendenhall Center, a state-of-the-art men's basketball training facility located in front of the Cox Pavilion. The grand opening is scheduled for Jan. 19, and the team may begin practicing in it sooner than that.
The university broke ground on the 38,000-square-foot facility in spring of 2010, with the majority of the funding coming from Las Vegas Paving Corp., and naming rights going to its CEO Bob Mendenhall. Not a single dollar of state money was used.
Specific details for the grand opening are still being worked out, but that university has announced that it's hosting "The Governor’s BBQ for the UNLV Rebels”, which is scheduled to take place the same day at Cox Pavilion beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person, which includes reception food, a BBQ dinner, and wine and beer compliments of Southern Wine & Spirits. The deadline to RSVP, which you can do here, is this Thursday, Jan. 12.
The guest list for that event includes Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, UNLV President Neal Smatresk, UNLV Director of Athletics Jim Livengood, Rebel head coaches and members of UNLV Athletics’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be in attendance. Former Rebel guard current CBS Sports and NBA TV analyst Greg Anthony is scheduled to serve as the keynote speaker.
“We want this to be a different experience for our fans and supporters,” Livengood said. “It’s a very comfortable setting and we want to come together as one family and celebrate the special thing going on with this great university and UNLV Athletics. It’s definitely a great time to be a Rebel.”
The Mendenhall Center allows coach Dave Rice's team to stop shuffling their practices between three different locations and also gives the team more national credibility as Division I facilities continue to improve across the country.