Jumps for joy

It’s tough to say who was more excited at the unveiling of the newly renovated locker room for UAB women’s basketball: the student-athletes or donors Bill and Jackie Tevendale and Lois Luther.

As the team filed in, the Tevendales and Luther saw the surprised smile and heard the excited chatter as the basketball players explored every inch of their sleek new space inside Bartow Arena. Then came the hugs as the student-athletes thanked them.

Complete with new lockers, a nutrition station, a 70-inch television to watch film, and other amenities, the space provides the team with an exceptional place to prepare for practices and competition.

“Before we went into the locker room, I told the team that this was a long time coming,” says head coach Randy Norton. “It is big for several reasons. It gives our current players a great place to get ready for practices and after practice. It is also good for recruiting. We can bring in future Blazers knowing we now have a first-class locker room to show them.”

The locker room renovation was made possible through generous support from the Tevendales and Luther as part of the UAB Athletics Campaign’s efforts to upgrade facilities.

“This locker room project puts the current players and future Blazers on a more level playing field with other schools and universities, and that was important to us,” Tevendale noted after watching the team enjoy its first glimpse of the space.

His wife echoed that sentiment, stating, “Bartow Arena is a fun place to go to see the women play, and we got involved with this project to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.”

Luther also expressed her excitement for helping to create a positive environment for the team’s growth.

“My late husband, Barry, and I are not from here,” Luther said. “He was from Pennsylvania, and I am from Ohio, but we have made this our home. I took an interest in the women’s basketball program, but I like all of the sports. I knew that women’s basketball was getting this, and it is wonderful to be able to do something to enhance their experience at UAB. These players spend much of their time in this facility, so the setting makes a difference.”

The locker room renovation was a memorable way to kick off basketball season, says junior guard Deanna Kuzmanic. “Our new locker room has exceeded every expectation I had for it,” she says. “It is a testament to how great our fans and donors are and how much they care for and support us. We are so grateful for this beautiful new space we have to relax and bond in as a team. It is truly a great day to be a Blazer.”

“We are very appreciative of [Director of Athletics] Mark Ingram for making this happen and very grateful to Bill and Jackie Tevendale and Lois Luther for stepping up to the plate and helping us get this done,” Norton adds. “ I am really excited.”

Learn more about supporting UAB Athletics: Trey Frazier, associate athletic director of development, (205) 934-3101, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..