Ollie Makes Major Gift

Drawing of basketball facility (UConn Athletics)

Coming off a 67-49 victory over Vermont in the home opener Tuesday night, the Connecticut basketball team is ready to hit the road again. The No. 23 Huskies (2-0) will fly to St. Thomas Thursday in advance of Friday's game against Wake Forest (6:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network) in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.

UConn will play three games in four days, meeting either Iona or Quinnipiac on Saturday or Sunday, depending on the outcome of the Wake Forest game. The tournament wraps up on Monday.

The big news from UConn Wednesday, as you may have read in our forums, was coach Kevin Ollie's $100,000 gift toward the construction of the UConn Basketball Development Center.

"I thought it was very important to show my commitment to the UConn Basketball Development Center," Ollie said in a statement. "I have had the incredible opportunity to be a member of the Husky family and that experience has influenced every part of my life. I want to be an example for all former UConn basketball student-athletes, who have had the privilege of playing for two Hall of Fame coaches, to join me in supporting this facility. It will help ensure the long-term success of the programs that all of us helped establish."

UConn's Board of Trustees approved a final construction budget of $33 million for the basketball facility on Wednesday and the official groundbreaking will take place this spring. The facility will be used both the men's and women's programs.

UConn reports that it currently has donations and pledges for $24 million. The school is still conducting a fundraising drive to secure the total costs of the project, which will be $38 million, including furniture, fixtures and equipment.

"I want to thank Kevin and his wife Stephanie for making this gift to the UConn Basketball Development Center," athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. "Kevin has experienced our program from all facets as a student-athlete, assistant coach and now the head coach. I am proud that Kevin has provided this leadership gift and it is indicative of the positive contributions that former Husky student-athletes can have on the future success of our programs."

In the video below, UConn guard Shabazz Napier talks about the team's depth, the importance of defense and the improvement of junior forward Tyler Olander.

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