HIGH POINT, N.C. -- High Point University announced Monday it would name its new basketball court after alumnus and current University of Memphis men's basketball head coach Tubby Smith.
Orlando "Tubby" Smith and his wife, Donna Smith, recently donated $1 million toward the construction of the new facility, according to the press release. The $100 million facility, which will also include a small hotel and conference center, will be named the Nido & Mariana Qubein Area and Conference Center after the college's president and his wife.
“I always tell kids about the importance of getting an education, and that is what I got from High Point University — an education on how to make decisions, how to live and conduct myself and how to help others,” Smith said in a statement. “High Point has been a blessing to my family, and we give back as much as we can.”
Smith, who is from Maryland, graduated from then High Point College in 1973. He was the team captain and all-conference as a senior.
During college, he met his wife, who was the school’s first African American homecoming queen. She graduated from the college in 1976.
Tubby Smith went on to coach at Memphis, Texas Tech, Kentucky, Georgia, Minnesota and Tulsa. He led the Kentucky Wildcats to the 1998 NCAA championship title.
In total, he has 574 career victories in 26-seasons of coaching.
Construction on the event center set to begin during the 2018-2019 academic year.
The venue will also host major events, speakers, concerts, entertainment and recreational activities.
“I am grateful to the Board of Trustees and the HPU family for this honor,” President Nido Qubein said in a statement on Jan. 30. “High Point University continues to grow in impactful ways, and these facilities will benefit both HPU and the city of High Point measurably for generations to come.