After almost 60 years of existence, including four decades of enduring the bounce of a ball and the scuff of athletic shoes, Louisiana Tech fans gathered on Oct. 20, 2012 for a dedication ceremony for the completed Scotty Robertson Court located in Memorial Gymnasium.
The new state-of-the-art floor was designed to honor the late Louisiana Tech basketball coaching legend Robert “Scotty” Robertson, who was an eight-time hall of famer, and which will be used as a practice facility for the Bulldog and Lady Techster basketball teams as well as by the health and physical education department.
The renovations began three months prior and were performed by Sports Floors Inc. of Memphis, Tenn., and beginning with a team of workers spending an entire week tearing out the nailed down pecan floor which came with the facility that was constructed in the 1950s.
After leaving part of the subfloor that was original to the building, a new subfloor was placed on top of that. Then the top maple floor was brought in and had to sit for about three weeks in order to acclimate to the moisture level before being nailed down.
A crew then came in to sand the floor, and a seal was put on before the artist came in and painted out all of the artwork which took two days. The final step was adding three coats of varnish and then allowing the floor to sit for an additional four days before any activity could begin on it.
Along with the new floor, new backboards, rims and padding have been installed as well as repair to the bleachers.
Robertson, who passed away in August of 2011, coached the Bulldogs from 1964 to 1974 and recorded a 161-86 mark while leading LA Tech to its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. He also spent time in the NBA, serving as the head coach for three organizations and assistant coach for six more.
The Bulldogs shined on the history-rich floor from its inception, winning the first game 107-49 over Henderson State, marking the first time a Bulldog team broke the century mark in a single game against a college opponent.
All-Americans Jackie Moreland, Ray Germany, Mike Green and Mike McConathy would go on to lace up their sneakers and make Bulldog history on the same court, followed soon thereafter by the upstart Lady Techsters.
The Lady Techsters played their first game in program history in Memorial Gym on Jan. 7, 1975 when they lost to Southeastern Louisiana. They posted the program’s first ever win a few weeks later over LSU. Few losses followed for the team as they registered an all-time mark of 84-6 on the floor thanks to the likes of Lady Techster greats Elinor Griffin, Pam Kelly, Kim Mulkey and Angela Turner and the coaching combination of Sonja Hogg and Leon Barmore.
Contributions from former players, coaches, friends and colleagues of Robertson, as well as other Louisiana Tech supporters, made the court renovation possible.
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