Written by Joe Clarke, Graduate Intern
WASHINGTON - The Franny Murray Court received an upgrade this summer with a new hardwood surface officially completed on July 20. The DuFour Athletic Center welcomed the latest addition with open arms and is proud to make it a key focal point for the 2014-15 season. The new court design offers unique elements of color, shape, and texture thanks to the artistic vision of Paul Saikia.
Saikia has designed multiple floors in the past including the Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center at York College of Pennsylvania and Kneller Athletic Center at Clark University (MA). Saikia serves as the Assistant Dean for Athletics & Recreation at York College. He has also served as the Head Coach for the Spartan baseball team, where his teams have won three Capital Athletic Conference Championships and have made nine NCAA Tournaments.
Saikia’s design is meant to portray a visually brilliant and powerful look, while maintaining a clean and professional appearance. The new floor allows The Catholic University of America department of Athletics to continue to produce a first-rate gameday experience for spectators, fans and the Cardinal student-athletes that play on it.
The new floor design specifics include two primary competition courts for basketball and volleyball and two secondary courts that can be used for multiple practices, as well as tournaments. The secondary courts are displayed by tick marks in order to keep the main visual focus on the primary court for gamedays. This prevents multiple lines overlapping on the court.
The new floor layout will have the Cardinal head logo at center court. Along with the Cardinal head logo are two “Franny Murray Court” signatures on each side of the court, “The Catholic University of America” text running on both sidelines, “Cardinals” in red text along the baselines, two-tone wood surfacing to distinguish the three point area and free throw area, and a red fill for the three second area.
CUA now joins three other local universities that have upgraded their courts in the past two seasons. That list includes George Mason University, Loyola University, and Georgetown University.
The Cardinal volleyball squad will be the first to open competition play on the new floor by hosting the Guetle CUA Invitational from Sept. 6-7.