The brand-new basketball court installed in Kirkman Activity Center on the Barton Community College campus over the holiday break has been dedicated.
With a ceremony during halftime of the Cougars game against Colby on Wednesday night, Dr. LT and Sheila Fleske were recognized for their donation that led to the aptly named LT & Sheila Fleske Court.
LT Fleske said that Barton athletic director Trevor Rolfs talked with him about putting in a new floor about a year ago.
“The athletic director talked with me, and wanted to know if I’d be interested in supporting the facility and the program,” he said. “I said sure, and asked what their needs were. He told me the court’s 28 years old. It’s been there a long time. I’ve been out to most of the games, and I thought it’d be neat to do that.”
LT Fleske, being a member of the Cougars booster club and a fan for several years, agreed to help.
“I’ve been coming out to games for over 30 years,” LT Fleske said. “Sitting behind the benches, you get to hear the coaches and the players. It’s a real great experience. We have good players here. It’s a fun thing to do.”
Replacing the old floor was one thing that Rolfs had intended to do when he took the job back on July 1, 2011.
“Really our facilities as a whole, as an athletic department, we wanted to strive to improve and update,” Rolfs said. “This is one of those facilities that everybody sees, and really the condition of the floor was getting dangerous for our student-athletes.
“With a combination of things we’ve done to spruce it up aesthetically, being from a safety standpoint and for the benefit of our student athletes, the floor was a major point of contention.”
Wednesday night’s games were Nos. 5 and 6 on the new floor, which Rolfs said is spectacular.
“It is beautiful,” Rolfs said. “If you listen out there now, you hear the shoes squeak on the floor. That’s something you didn’t really realize before, but you never really heard that on the old floor. It just didn’t have any grip to it.
“You can just physically walk out on the floor and feel the flex and the grip, which you didn’t feel with the old floor.”