With appropriate fanfare—and even an impromptu game of HORSE between Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee and URI President Marc Parlange—the University of Rhode Island officially opened the Soloviev Basketball Practice Facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, Nov. 6.
Thanks to a generous lead gift from Stefan Soloviev and the Solow Art and Architecture Foundation, URI’s former West Gymnasium was transformed into a new high-tech practice facility for the URI men’s and women’s basketball programs that Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn described as “a true game-changer” for URI.
Gov. McKee joined President Parlange, Board of Trustees member Tom Ryan, Bjorn, men’s and women’s basketball head coaches Archie Miller and Tammi Reiss, Rhody the Ram, and several student-athletes and cheer squad members for the official ribbon cutting for the nearly $8 million center.
“Investing in URI both academically and athletically is key,” McKee said, while also discussing the $65.8 million in Rhode Island Capital Plan funding included in the 2024 state budget.
The new, state-of-the-art facility features one full-sized basketball court and two half-sized courts, along with an advanced sound and lighting system, that will provide the men’s and women’s teams with more court time, scheduling flexibility, and a facility that rivals some of the nation’s best.