Updated Court Design, New Centerhung Video Board Highlight Smith Center Enhancements
The monument themed court design at the Charles E. Smith Center, in the heart of Washington, DC, will get a new addition as the surface is being refinished this summer. Originally unveiled in the spring of 2013 and heralded as one of the top court designs in college sports, the court will now feature the border of the nation’s capital as the backdrop to the GW Athletics mark at
center court. Returning are the images of the Washington Monument, the United States Capitol and The White House, which have made the Smith Center’s location in the Most Powerful City in the World known across the globe.
"We're thrilled to see the image of our dynamic city on GW's court," said Mayor of Washington, DC Muriel Bowser. "The university has made it a priority to attract and retain our best and brightest students right here in Washington, DC, while also showcasing the international flair of our dynamic,
world class city. What a way to pay homage to the District of Columbia, featuring it so prominently for the world to see!"
Since the court debuted in 2013, the GW men’s basketball team has made one NCAA Tournament appearance and two NIT trips, including the NIT championship in 2016, with a win over #6 Virginia on the famed monuments in 2015. The women’s basketball program has won three Atlantic 10 titles, making trips to the Big Dance in 2015, 2016 and 2018. GW volleyball, who also calls the floor home, has enjoyed a strong home court advantage above the iconic imagery and hosted the Atlantic 10 Championship on it in 2013 and 2015.
"We have one of the most unique and special campus locations in the world, punctuated by our student-athletes graduating on the National Mall in a true Only at GW experience,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation Tanya Vogel. “Our court depicts our passion for and commitment to the District as we develop global leaders who will change the world.”
The distinctive design pays tribute to three iconic structures that are near and dear to the George Washington community. Dozens of university graduates have led long and prestigious careers in the halls of the Capitol, and every four years, GW students get a
front row view to watch history in the making at the Presidential Inauguration just blocks away from campus. The Washington Monument, the most prominent structure in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to the honor of the first President of the United States and the university's namesake, whose vision was to create an institution in the nation's capital dedicated to educating and preparing future leaders.
“This is another example of why coaching at GW was a dream for me," noted men's basketball Head
Coach Jamion Christian. “As a DMV product myself, I love our history of success through the recruitment of both local and international talent. Seeing every day a reminder of the perfect blend of the best high school basketball in the country and the international flavor of DC is remarkable.”
To women’s head coach Jen Rizzotti, the floor also touches on another aspect of her basketball journey, as a coach with the United States Women’s National Basketball Team.
“In addition to our student-athletes who pursue excellence every day, I was blessed to coach the women's national team in the Smith Center last fall. Our GW brand is recognized across the globe, so playing on this floor is special for the pros that I work with and the young people I mentor.”
Situated high above the one-of-a-kind floor is a new
centerhung video display system. The new system features 125% more pixels than the previous system while also bringing high-definition resolution to each of the four main displays.
six-millimeter pixel line spacing replaces the previous 10-millimeter spacing to bring true high-definition to all four of the main displays. Each are nine feet high by 16.5 feet wide. New to the centerhung will be four corner displays filling the gaps between the main screens, and will measure four feet wide at their widest point.
“With an enhanced ability and functionality to allow us to feature better image quality and resolution, our live video, instant replays, graphics, statistics, game info and sponsorship execution will be first in class,” said GW Associate Athletics Director Nicole Early. “We are excited to show off the new look Smith Center to our campus community in the fall.”
Additional enhancements to the arena are also being planned and will be revealed at a later date.