Houston chooses LC for practice
<p class="indent">While the finishing touches are being put on the Health and Human Performance Education Complex that will house the McNeese State University basketball teams, the NBA’s Houston Rockets are using the facility this week as they take the first steps on their quest for a championship.
<p class="indent">The team is holding their training camp at the facility this week. The team is owned by Tilman Fertitta, who also owns the local Golden Nugget hotel and casino.
<p class="indent">“I never have imagined that something like this would be possible, announcing the beginning of training camp for the Houston Rockets,” said McNeese President Daryl Burckel.
<p class="indent">“This was not in the realm of possibilities in my thinking. It is all because of the vision of one person, Gerry Del Prete of Fertitta Entertainment, had the idea of bringing the Rockets in. We are very excited about that.”
<p class="indent">Gov. John Bel Edwards said the new complex was a wise investment.
<p class="indent">“We decided to invest in education, invest in McNeese, because that is an investment in our young people,” he said.
<p class="indent">“I am happy to be here seeing everything taking shape. I want to thank everyone with the Houston Rockets. I had an opportunity to meet with Tilman Fertitta a couple of weeks ago, he is someone who believes in Louisiana, particularly Southwest Louisiana. He made a big investment in our state and then to bring over the Rockets for a week of training, that is believing in our state. We hope their experience will be tremendous.”
<p class="indent">Mayor of Lake Charles Nic Hunter presented a key to the city to Rockets CEO Tad Brown.
<p class="indent">“It is an exciting time to be a citizen of Lake Charles and an alum of McNeese,” Hunter said.
<p class="indent">Brown said he expects the relationship between the team and school to be a lasting one.
<p class="indent">“We are floored by this beautiful facility,” Brown said. “The fact that you were able to get it up on time. We have been in a lot of on-campus facilities, a lot of practice facilities around the world. This is as fine a one as we have seen. We are honored to be here and you can count on us being here for years to come. I know that this is something that is important to the Fertitta family. Expect to see the Rockets in Lake Charles for a long, long time.”
<p class="indent">Last year the Rockets had the best regular season record in the NBA at 65-17. They lost in the Western Conference Finals to eventual league champion Golden State. The team features reigning league MVP James Harden.
<p class="indent">Tuesday the Rockets were using the practice facility portion of the complex, which also includes an arena for Mc-Neese basketball games and an academic complex for the school’s Health and Human Performance academic department.