Friday, June 26, 2009


There will be a big party today on Hawk Hill, for St. Joseph's will unveil the new Ramsay Basketball Center. Dr. Jack Ramsay will be there, of course, as well as Jameer and Delonte. As with my choice of schools I never thought BIG always equalled to BEST. Our humble Jesuit university is not one of the biggest but it is one of the best. Same with our Hawks. We have a great basketball tradition on Hawk Hill -- from Ferguson's Mighty Mites in the 30's, to Ramsay's domination of the Big 5 in the 50's & 60's, to McKinney's ECC champs, to Lynam's upset of DePaul, Boyle's four to score, Griffin's resurgence and that A-10 run at the Palestra to... Martelli the Magnificient.

Smoke and mirrors need not apply anymore, 'cause "we're moving on up." As LaSalle great Tom Gola once said "no one wins without the horses." Make no mistake; Ramsay/Hagan will make a difference in recruiting. A factor that will not be quantitative... you won't be able to count it... but as you wipe the sweat from your brow, and your voice is hoarse, and the Hawks have just won yet another pivotal game that will never leave your memory, know this place, and all the hard work and dedication behind, will have had something to do with it.

All I can say is, on November 13th... WE WANT DREXEL!



Saint Joseph's shows off new Ramsay Basketball Center

Philadelphia Daily News

If you have been in other "basketball centers" that have gone up around the country as the collegiate arms race has heated up, you might not be completely dazzled by the new Ramsay Basketball Center at Saint Joseph's. However, if you had ever spent any time in the old "facilities" on Hawk Hill, you would have no choice but to be dazzled.

In advance of this afternoon's dedication, Hawks coach Phil Martelli conducted a tour of the building attached to the Fieldhouse (soon to be the Hagan Arena). There is the "Tom Wynne (1963) Hall of Fame Room" just inside the front lobby, a plush area that Martelli says will be for "special gatherings," an "exclusive" room for serious donors, something that nobody really knew they had at St. Joe's.

Well, they do now. The new practice court (unveiled last fall), the remodeled arena (opening this fall) and the newly named basketball center did not come cheaply. Money needed to be raised. Donations needed to be made.

The Hall of Fame room is so exclusive that Martelli does not have keys. Those serious fans - those with the requisite cash, anyway - will be able to hang out there before games and then walk right into lobby of the arena.

"The Delonte West Players' Lounge" is right next to "The Jameer Nelson Locker Room." Nelson and West, the Hawks' great backcourt for two seasons, are now starting in Orlando and Cleveland, respectively. West has pledged a six-figure sum to have his name on the lounge. Nelson's commitment was finalized last year.

for complete article ...Saint Joseph's shows off new Ramsay Basketball Center Philadelphia Daily News 06/26/2009

Martelli Gives Tour of St. Joe's New Digs

By Matt Grassie

Temple has the Liacouras Center. Villanova has the Davis Center. Now St. Joe’s has added a center of its own, and, in doing so, taken a step towards becoming a more consistent Big 5 force. And more importantly a perennial power in the A-10.The school, which has been to only one NCAA tournament since 2003, opened an addition to the former Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse that on Friday will be dedicated to former Hawks coach Dr. Jack Ramsay. The Ramsay Basketball Center will house locker rooms, coaching offices and conference rooms, all of which feature state-of-the-art amenities.“They just didn’t miss on anything – the furniture, the carpet,” men’s basketball coach Phil Martelli said. “This is as good as it gets.”

Martelli, who led a tour of the facility for the media Thursday, was glowing with pride when he said that the university aimed to meet the highest standards in its construction of the two-story, 20,000 square-foot addition. It’s all part of a $35 million renovation project that includes the expansion of the Fieldhouse, which has been renamed Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena.

“Our people went to places – Xavier and Marquette come to mind – and there was a lot of research that was done to make this place second to none,” said the four-time A-10 Coach of the Year.The new facilities, which will accommodate both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, are a far cry from the old ones says Martelli, who jokes that his players could barely fit into his former office. But now that the team is living in the lap of luxury, the coach wants to make sure his players remember their humble roots. “The biggest fear that I have is that we will develop a sense of entitlement,” Martelli said. “We need to remember where we came from.”

entire article... Martelli Gives Tour of St. Joe's New Digs

Phil and Rob Ferguson outside the Hagan Arena.

Hawks enjoy their new nest
The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - Hawk Hill's extreme makeover is nearly complete.

Saint Joseph's Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse is in the final stages of a $35 million expansion plan that has transformed the antiquated gym into a spacious, NBA-type structure that will give future Hawks plenty of room to stretch their wings.

It's out with the cramped offices and compact locker rooms that weakened recruiting pitches, and in with all the modern amenities usually found in any major power conference program.
Flat screens, soda machines, and video game systems should make the modern-day recruit feel at home.

Exclusive rooms and more seats give the Fieldhouse a more welcoming environment for every fan from freshman first-timers to upscale donors.

"There was nothing I thought that was too much or too fancy," coach Phil Martelli said.
Martelli was the tour guide Thursday for the first look at the sparkling Ramsay Basketball Center. The two-story, 20,000-square foot addition to the Fieldhouse is named after former Saint Joseph's coach Jack Ramsay. In October, the expanded Fieldhouse will be dedicated as the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena. The first home game is Nov. 13 against Drexel.

"These guys will need to remember where we came from," Martelli said.

Former Hawks and current NBA guards Jameer Nelson and Delonte West made sizable donations to the project. Nelson helped fund the home team's locker room and West the basketball lounge. Instead of returning to the dorms for a break or grabbing a snack in the car, the Hawks can unwind on leather sofas, play video games and grab sodas from the fridge.
Martelli had to make another recruitment pitch to the players who comprised the backcourt of the 2003-04 team that went 30-2 and reached the NCAA tournament regional final.
"I said, 'Delonte, I need your name on the building,'" Martelli said. "He shook his head and said, 'Yes, yes, yes.' He turned around and reached into his pants like he was going to give me the money on the spot." Instead, the check is in the mail. Nelson got a tour when the Orlando Magic were in town to play the Philadelphia 76ers in a playoff series.

He'll attend Friday's official opening and dedication of the Ramsay Basketball Center, along with Ramsay, Martelli and women's coach Cindy Griffin.

This year's Hawks and beyond will be grateful for Nelson's donation. The home locker room that was the size of an airport restroom has more of a state-of-the-art NBA feel. The lockers that made players feel like they were in phone booths are large enough to make Shaq comfortable.
The name of each Hawk who wore their respective uniform number will be on a plaque inside the locker of the player who has that jersey each season.

"They'll always remember they're just the latest, they're not the greatest," Martelli said. "The room is named for the greatest."

entire article... Hawks enjoy their new nest AP 06/25/2009

New nest on Hawk Hill

Phil Martelli won’t have to watch his players hit their heads in his office anymore. As part of a $35 million project — which includes renovating and adding more than 1,000 seats to newly named Hagan Arena — the St. Joe’s coach has a lavish, new home on Hawk Hill.The Ramsay Basketball Center, named after Hall of Fame coach Dr. Jack Ramsay (who went 234-72 with the Hawks and won an NBA title with Portland), is a 20,000-square-foot facility that Martelli believes can match up with any school in the country. The locker room was donated by and named after Jameer Nelson.

Martelli knows the new facility will make a big difference for players once they arrive on campus.“[Before, players] hung out in their apartments or their cars and they waited until they could come in,” joked Martelli. “As Jamie Moyer would say, he ate a lot of lunches in his car. So there was no lounge, there was no locker room, there was no office space, but now there is.”
Martelli’s biggest fear is that players will develop a sense of entitlement.

“What we need to remember is where we came from,” he said. “If a player wears No. 11, there will be a plaque that lists all the guys that have worn No. 11, so that they always remember that they’re just the latest, not the greatest. The room is named for the greatest.”

Hawks' facility to bear Dr. Jack's name - ESPN

PHILADELPHIA -- Hall of Fame coach Dr. Jack Ramsay will be on hand Friday for the dedication of the 20,000 square-foot Ramsay Basketball Center at Saint Joseph's.

Ramsay, now 84, gave Saint Joseph's a national profile by leading the Hawks to 10 postseason appearances during the 1950s and '60s, including a trip to the Final Four in 1961.

"There was only one name that belongs on this building," current Hawks coach Phil Martelli said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Ramsay, a Saint Joseph's alum, later went on to coach four NBA teams -- the Philadelphia 76ers, expansion Buffalo Braves, Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers. His most successful run was with the Blazers, whom he led to the 1977 championship and, in all, nine playoff appearances in 10 seasons.

Ramsay retired from coaching in 1987 as the NBA's second-winningest coach and was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. He continues to do color analysis of NBA games for ESPN Radio.

"The very best coaches are teachers of basketball and life. Jack Ramsay is a Hall of Famer at both," said Bill Walton, the Hall of Fame center who starred on the Blazers' 1977 championship team. "We all loved playing for Dr. Jack, but we loved being with him even more. I can imagine how revered he is at Saint Joseph's where it all began."

The new facility at Saint Joseph's also carries the name of former Hawks players, including "The Delonte West Players' Lounge" and "The Jameer Nelson Locker Room."

A new (real!) stuffed Hawk and some new under armor offerings at the St. Joseph's Hawks Bookstore,
as well as a rumor that we will soon have a bar/restaurant next door ;-)

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