GMC Prep basketball players can now look forward to playing their home games inside the Cordell Events Center on a new surface.
The school spent just over $100,000 to update its gymnasium court this summer, replacing the original surface that had been there since the building opened in the 1960s.
The word “Bulldogs” stretches across halfcourt in honor of the school’s mascot and is joined by a few other GMC-isms spread across the floor. GMC’s three rules to live by “Duty, Honor, Country” are there along the bleacher sideline and the regimental accolade “Character Above All” can be read on either side of the floor. Both are shouted by cadets in unison during military formation each morning before the start of school.
Needless to say, both GMC Prep varsity basketball coaches are happy to see the school make this big investment in their programs.
“I think it’s great,” boys head coach James Lunsford said. “Doing this work on the gym means we’re taking basketball seriously. It looks first class, and that’s what we need.”
Lunsford, who has more than 800 career wins to his name along with many other huge coaching accolades, has long said he’s trying to develop a basketball tradition at GMC, and he believes this is another step in that direction.
“That was my goal,” the legendary head coach said. “We’ve won some games, but we haven’t won championships like I would like to, but we’ve been close.”
Indeed both the GMC Prep boys and girls basketball teams have made some big strides in recent years which has led to huge leaps in home attendance. The two programs each have a couple of region runner-up titles to their name, and the Lady Dogs made it to the Elite Eight in the state playoffs this past season, which is further than the team has ever made it before.
Girls coach Shawn Dennis is happy both with an addition and a deletion made to the court with the recent replacement.
“The floor looks great and I’m glad they decided to redo it,” he said. “The old one was wood siting on concrete, but this was has a little give to it since it has padding underneath. That’s much better on the kids’ legs. I’m also glad they took off the college three-point line. We’ve had a lot of shots that hit the front of the rim that would have gone in if the shooter would just move up to the high school line.”
The Bulldogs and Lady Dogs will get to put their new floor to the test come November as long as the 2020-21 season goes on as planned.