Long history nestles in Eagles’ home court

By Elohino Theodore, Sports Writer

At 33 years old, Reese Court has been home to a number of successful athletes and memorable teams. This season all EWU teams that have competed at Reese Court have all won multiple games in the arena.

The pavilion was named after successful EWU coach William B. Reese. The legendary coach has a record 473 wins during his coaching days. Reese coached football, basketball and track for 34 years at Eastern, from 1930 to 1964. Today, near the main court, is a conference room that honors the legendary coach.

Reese Court opened on June 1, 1981. The arena holds 6,000 people and the court also hosts other events such as graduation ceremonies, concerts, fundraisers.

The highest attendance for a sports competition held at Reese Court was on March 1, 1990. Men’s basketball competed against the University of Idaho, where 5,621 people came to watch. The Eagles lost to Idaho in that game, 72-54.

This season, the Eastern men’s basketball team has had a successful record at home with 10 wins and only four losses. Sophomore guard Tyler Harvey, junior guard Drew Brandon and head coach Jim Hayford believe there is something special about playing at Reese Court.

“People bring their families out here. We have a really good team. We’re all close knit to each other,” Harvey said.

“I just like the energy and we’re always comfortable here. We practice here every day,” Brandon said. “It just feels good when you’re out here, you just know that everybody has your back in the whole gym.”

“What I love about Reese Court is I get to stay home,” Hayford said. “I don’t have to go out on the road to play the games. I think we have one of the best facilities in the Big Sky. It’s an easy facility to recruit to, and we keep making improvements to make it better and better.”

Brandon feels the team has done really well at home. “We have a certain type of pride here in not trying to lose and taking that edge to defend our home court and really prove to people that it’s not an easy win coming in here,” Brandon said.

“I just think that we’re real familiar [with] playing here,” Hayford said. “We play with a good confidence. [We are] not tired from travel, and we’re expecting to win our home games.”

The men’s basketball team realizes the importance of every teammate. “I think we’re maturing as a team. We were with each other last year,” Harvey said. “We didn’t lose anybody so we all came back, and we’re going to be a tough team to beat here pretty soon.”

Men’s basketball is not the only team that has had success at Reese Court this season. The volleyball team has won home games against Sacramento State, Montana State, Weber State and Southern Utah.

Women’s basketball also used Reese Court to their advantage to get wins this season. The team has a home record of 12-3. “Generally I think we shoot the ball better at home, so I mean, that’s a big thing for us,” redshirt junior guard Lexie Nelson said. “I guess just being comfortable in your own environment and gym.”

“It’s always good to play at home. You’re in your own bed the night before,” senior guard Aubrey Ashenfelter said. “It’s a great atmosphere to play in. We have some good fans.”

Ashenfelter shared her thoughts about what she likes about playing at Reese Court. “I love playing in front of the band and just having your friends come and watch you,” Ashenfelter said.

With Reese Court being around for such a long time, Ashenfelter and Hayford have thoughts on how they can improve it even further. “I don’t think that we get enough fans really,” Ashenfelter said. “I know there [are] groups of some of the football players that go, but I don’t think, as a whole, our athletics does a very good job of supporting each other.”

“We got to do our part to let the fans know if we come to a game, that it’s going to be an exciting game,” Hayford said. “That will build a better base of excitement.”