Southern Nazarene University and Oklahoma City University officials say they are open to talk about the use of their campuses as temporary practice facility locations for the new NBA team. But as of Thursday afternoon, neither school had been contacted by Clay Bennett and the Professional Basketball Club about such a possibility.
With Wednesday's settlement allowing the NBA to come to Oklahoma City, the PBC must find a temporary practice facility for the team, and a location for a new practice facility to be built. Southern Nazarene's Sawyer Center would appear to be an option, since it served as the practice facility for the New Orleans Hornets for two years when the team was displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
"The Hornets were great tenants with us. They were easy to work with,” SNU athletic director Bobby Martin said. "We had no problems. Both sides got along very well and the experience was positive.”
Still, both Martin and OCU athletic director Jim Abbott said they hadn't heard from anyone about the subject. Abbott wasn't even aware of the settlement until contacted Thursday afternoon while on vacation in Florida.
"We haven't talked to them,” Abbott said. "Of course, we're like anyone else. If there's anything we can do to help them, we'll be thrilled to do it, and we'll be excited to have an NBA team coming to town.”
Martin theorized that the PBC could be looking elsewhere because of the local connections of the group.
"I have no idea what their thoughts are on that,” Martin said. "Obviously if they want to talk to me I would talk with them — that's no problem.