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Crean: Cook Hall will leave recruits ‘blown away’


A view of Pfau Shine Legacy Court from the terrace level. The IU Tower is the centerpiece of the room, which is bordered by the Prominent Players Mural. Jordan Cohen

Assembly Hall has undergone minimal changes since it first opened in 1971.

IU fans saw the addition of a $1.99 million state-of-the-art scoreboard in 2005. But very little else looks different from when the 17,456-seat facility first opened 39 years ago.

Sunday afternoon, however, marked the dedication of the new basketball development center, Cook Hall.

Take a virtual tour of the facility with this YouTube video.

Connected to the historic basketball arena by an underground passageway, the $20 million Cook Hall is expected to provide the tradition-heavy IU program and its recruits a taste of the 21st century.

“It is just an amazing thing when you go through that building,” IU coach Tom Crean said at a press conference Friday. “It is going to be such a positive for so many people, whether you have been a fan for a long time, whether you are a new fan and certainly for recruits.”

From its two full-sized practice courts and the locker room suites to the strength-and-conditioning center and the athletic training room, Cook Hall will play an important role for both men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The new facility will also serve as quite the special place for IU diehards and many others who set foot into Pfau Shine Legacy Court — a shrine celebrating the almost-unmatched IU basketball tradition.

From the national championship trophies and other artifacts to the interactive display screens and database, it is likely to impress most who have the opportunity to see it up close.

“For a historian, it is unreal, and for a true fan they are going to be blown away,” Crean said. “But I want the casual observer to come in and say ‘Wow, I have to see that again.’”

Cook Hall, however, is intended to leave its greatest mark on Hoosier prospects.

“We have only had a few players come up and see it at this point because of the tournaments that have gone on, and we had some dead periods,” Crean said. “But when they see it, they are going to be blown away.”

As long as it stands, Assembly Hall will remain a unique building representing past IU basketball accomplishments.

But together with the new Cook Hall, there is now hope that it will again be a place that houses a perennial college basketball power.  

“It is a complex now,” Crean said. “It is a basketball complex with Assembly Hall and Cook Hall and then when the Academic Center gets done, it is going to be the largest academic center in the country.”

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