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There is Something New Underneath the Oregon Duck’s Basketball Backboards

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In the previous years, University of Oregon became a by-word because of its various designs of football uniforms and basketball uniforms. Oregon, being the birthplace of Nike’s athletic apparel has helped the state search for their own unique style. It started when Bill Bowerman, University of Oregon’s hall-of-fame coach for the Track and Field team became co-founders of Blue Ribbon Sports which is now called Nike Inc. The company’s amazing success brought a lot of money to the University in donations and the liberation of dressing their athletes as they pleased with a few limitations. Lately, the university’s search for unity went beyond the athlete’s apparel on to appearance of the basketball court.

Basketball courts use a standard design. Under the basketball backboards is a solid color of paint, on the left side of the 3 point line on every half of the court is the league or conference, and the school logo or team is place in the court’s center. Aside from all the painted lines that indicate where they will shoot, where there are boundaries and three points are awarded, the court is nothing but hardwood floor. The new basketball stadium of the Oregon Ducks is the most extravagant and decorated basketball court in the college basketball league.

Matthew Knight Arena was opening its doors to the public in January 12, 2011. It is a great court where a few could watch the game from bunker style suites. There are new scoreboards and there is a wrap-around LED display. The stadium also includes 2 practice courts that will be used for team practices and pre-game warms ups. Yet with all these fancy décor, the spot light still shines on the court.

When thinking about the purpose behind the improved design of the basketball court, one can’t help but wonder if the backboards were being used like a painter’s canvass. Some people think that the court was designed to purposely distract their opponents. The pictures of very tall pine trees slinking from the sides of the court going to the center makes it very hard to see the lines. Will this have an effect on the playing performance of the players in their home court? After all these distractions are hard to avoid.

The University of Oregon has always been known for their quirks in style, whether it’s their gaudy basketball uniforms or the design of their basketball court. Nevertheless, their basketball program has been consistently competitive and always ranked high with the teams. So you don’t have to question Oregon’s methods when it comes to the game. The more important questions comes next. Will the other universities follow their example and turn their basketball courts into playing fields or an art canvass? Will the college players have to deal with these visual distractions aside from a rowdy crowd and their midterm exams? Only time will give the answer.