Texas Tech Athletics Announces Lead Gift, Plans for Basketball Practice Facility
Texas Tech University announced a gift of $10 million from the Dusty and Leisha Womble family to support construction of a proposed practice facility for men’s and women’s basketball.
The gift is one of the largest commitments to The Campaign for Fearless Champions, the university’s philanthropic initiative to enhance athletics facilities, invest in student-athlete scholarship endowments and grow the first-of-its-kind J.T. & Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy.
“This gift is my opportunity to say thank you and to give back to the university that has provided so much for me and for my family.”
Lubbock businessman Dusty Womble was instrumental in shaping the vision for the facility, and in recognition of his family’s gift, the building will be named The Dustin R. Womble Basketball Practice Facility.
Since construction of United Supermarkets Arena, Texas Tech men’s and women’s basketball have shared court time with the university’s volleyball program and a continuous lineup of concerts, community events and university commencement ceremonies that fill the arena’s schedule. Access to a dedicated practice facility will give both men’s and women’s teams more court time and a significant recruiting advantage.
“My collegiate years at Texas Tech prepared me for a successful business career. This gift is my opportunity to say thank you and to give back to the university that has provided so much for me and for my family,” Womble said. “Prior to today, many great Red Raiders have laid the building blocks for athletics success. Now is our time to step up and further that vision Kirby has articulated in our Campaign for Fearless Champions.
“This training facility will do much more than put [Texas Tech] on equal footing with our peers. It will set the standard for what other universities can aspire to have.”
The standalone practice facility for Red Raider and Lady Raider basketball will be built immediately west of United Supermarkets Arena across Indiana Avenue, providing convenient access for student-athletes and coaches. The building will include two practice courts, a strength and conditioning weight room, offices for men’s and women’s basketball coaches, team meeting rooms, and sports medicine and nutrition areas. University leaders estimate the proposed facility will cost a total of $23 million.
“Facilities like these don’t just happen,” said Texas Tech University Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt. “Facilities like these are carried on the shoulders of individuals who shape our vision for Texas Tech Athletics.
“Dusty and Leisha have been there through the high moments and the low moments, but never once have they wavered with their support and their commitment to generosity and wanting to provide Texas Tech Athletics with the very best.”
The Dustin R. Womble Basketball Practice Facility is the latest in a line of recent investments in Texas Tech men’s and women’s basketball, including the first significant upgrades to United Supermarkets Arena since its construction more than a decade ago. Renovated team locker rooms, film areas and sports medicine facilities for volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball have significantly transformed practice and competition spaces for student-athletes, and a new center-hung video board above half court has dramatically improved the game environment for student-athletes and fans.
These projects — and two dozen others benefiting more than 450 student-athletes across 17 intercollegiate sports — have been funded by gifts to The Campaign for Fearless Champions. To date, the campaign has funded 22 of 27 facilities projects, surpassed its goal of $10 million in student-athlete scholarship endowments and exceeded its goal of establishing a $5 million endowment for the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy.
The new basketball practice facility is one of four additional donor-inspired projects Hocutt announced last month during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Sports Performance Center. The generosity of alumni and fans has spurred momentum, challenging Texas Tech to think more broadly about the impact of The Campaign for Fearless Champions.
Other facilities projects added to the campaign’s goal include renovations to the Football Training Facility and the Marsha Sharp Center for Student-Athletes as well as a new stand-alone dining hall for student-athletes to be located near the Frazier Alumni Pavilion.
The Dustin R. Womble Basketball Practice Facility is being designed in partnership with Populous, a Kansas City architecture firm responsible for crafting a number of basketball facilities. University officials expect the facility to be one of the best in the nation when completed.
“I speak for everyone in our program in thanking Dusty Womble and his family for this generous gift to Texas Tech University and to Red Raider Basketball,” said men’s basketball head coach Chris Beard. “This facility is a difference maker in our program and for the future of Texas Tech Basketball.”