Ollie makes $100,000 pledge for new facility

From his playing days to his coaching days, Kevin Ollie has poured his heart and soul into the UConn basketball program.

Now Ollie, a first-year head coach, is pouring his money into the program.

The school announced Wedneday that Ollie has pledged to donate $100,000 for 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 press release. "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."

Both the men's and women's programs will use the facility. Official ground-breaking is scheduled for next spring.

On Wednesday, the UConn Board of Trustees approved the final construction budget of $33 million. The total cost, which includes equipment, fixtures and furniture, is projected to be $38 million.

So far, $24 million has been raised.

"I want to thank Kevin and his wife Stephanie for making this gift to the UConn Basketball Development Center," UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said. "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."

Now that Ollie has made a signifcant pledge, let's see if any of his former UConn teammates step forward to make donations.

The Huskies are off to a surprising 2-0 start. They entered the Associated Press top 25 rankings at No. 23 on Monday after upsetting No. 14 Michigan State on Friday.

They leave for the U.S. Virgin Islands on Thursday morning and play Wake Forest in the first round of the Paradise Jam on Friday in St. Thomas.

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