By Jack McLoone
The historic Rose Hill Gymnasium will be getting a new name, and a new look to match.
The gym will be renamed the “Frank McLaughlin Family Basketball Court,” in honor of Frank McLaughlin, FCRH ’69.
According to Fordham News, the renaming is part of a fundraiser to improve the gymnasium, with a proposed goal of $2.5 million. The most recent update on the amount raised was over $1.3 million.
The planned renovations will be completed over the next two summers, according to David Roach, director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation. This summer, the lower-area seating will be redone. During the summer of 2018, a new wood floor will be installed and a “hospitality suite” will be installed in the upper area of the arena.
The fully-renovated Frank McLaughlin Family Basketball Court will be completed in the summer of 2018.
The fight for basketball recruits in the New York area is tough, and there is hope that the new renovations could help entice recruits as well as provide a better product for fans.
“We hope that it will provide a better atmosphere for the game day experience, which will also help when we bring recruits in to watch games,” said Roach.
McLaughlin was part of the basketball team as a student, and was athletic director from 1985 to 2012. He was also an assistant coach under legendary head coach Richard “Digger” Phelps during the 1970-71 season. That season, the Rams won their only tournament game, beating Furman 105-74 before losing to Villanova in the Sweet 16.
“I think the university decided to honor Frank McLaughlin after his many years of service to the university and the fact that he was a basketball student-athlete here,” said David Roach, McLaughlin’s successor as the current director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation.
Fordham men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with the women’s volleyball team, typically enjoy a decent home court advantage. Twenty-two of men’s basketball’s 30 wins over the past three seasons have been at home, including going 14-5 in 2015. This season, they upset eventual March Madness tournament participant Virginia Commonwealth at home.
Women’s basketball has not had a losing record at home since 2011. It went 16-3 at home this season, including a 66-52 victory over tournament team Dayton and a 62-54 win over Davidson in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship.
Twenty-four of women’s volleyball’s 46 wins since 2012 have come at home.
The Rose Hill Gym has also hosted other events, including the semifinals and championship of The Basketball Tournament in 2016, which was televised on ESPN.