Considering the school is 17 miles inland from Miami Beach, Florida International University students are more likely to tangle with an alligator while swimming before they catch a wave on a surf board.
But this hasn’t stopped the university from going ahead with its plan to repaint its basketball court with this tropical beach motif.
The court is currently being prepared for its re-design, which will cost nearly $50,000 according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Paint will be applied layer-by-layer onto the court, and cabana-style seating will be available behind one of the baskets.
FIU deserves credit for doing something adventurous with its hardwood. The school has a large student population (boasting 50,000 undergrads and graduate students) but is looking to stir up excitement in its basketball program, which achieved its first winning season in 13 years during the 2012-13 season under now-former head coach Rich Pitino.
Pitino—son of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino—had tweeted this new court design weeks ago as one of several in consideration for FIU’s new court plans. Since his tweet, Pitino has been hired on as the head coach at the University of Minnesota.
Moving on to the Big Ten is a huge step for a young coach like Pitino, who, at the age of 30, will be the youngest coach in the conference by eight years (Northwestern’s Chris Collins, 38, is the next youngest).
Judging by this new court design, Pitino had big plans for his team at FIU and was looking down any and all avenues in the name of wowing recruits into playing for a lesser-known program.
Without Pitino, FIU loses their name-brand coach and No. 1 recruiting weapon. Considering the school is located a few miles away from the University of Miami's burgeoning basketball program, they'll take any advantage they can get—even if it's ridiculous, in a Sandals resort-esque type of way.
On Twitter: Dr__Carson