Center named for Griffin

The soon-to-be built University of Oklahoma’s athletics performance center at Lloyd Noble Center will be named after former OU basketball player Blake Griffin in recognition of his financial gift, the largest ever to OU by a former Sooner basketball player.

Construction should begin in February.

Griffin committed in August to help financially support the construction of the approximately 18,400-gross-square foot training center, which will take 12 months to complete. The addition, which will be built south of the men’s and women’s basketball’s two existing practice gyms and will be called the Blake Griffin Performance Center. The approximate total cost of the project is $7 million.

“Being a Sooner is more than just what you do in competition,” said Griffin, who was the 2009 consensus national player of the year and the No. 1 overall pick in that year’s NBA Draft. “I am thankful to have had the opportunity to play OU basketball, which has a legacy of people that have made it great. College is such a critical time in an athlete’s playing career and it’s my honor to help give the men’s and women’s teams the resources and technology that will give them the best opportunity to succeed. I am humbled that OU has chosen to name this facility after me, and I am really excited to see this high-performance training center come to life.”

The Blake Griffin Performance Center will include basketball training courts, free weights, indoor turf, outdoor turf with sand pit, spaces for plyometric and cardiovascular training, cardio and strength testing, locker rooms, an exam and recovery area, a fueling station, a multi-purpose room and overhead fresh-air doors.

Griffin led the Sooners to the 2009 Elite Eight, averaging 28.5 points, 15.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in four NCAA Tournament games. He averaged 22.7 points, 14.4 boards and 2.3 assists per game overall that season as OU climbed to No. 2 in the rankings after starting 25-1. It finished 30-6 and ranked No. 7 in both major polls.

Griffin had his No. 23 honored by OU last March and it hangs from the Lloyd Noble Center rafters. In six-plus campaigns with the Los Angeles Clippers, Griffin owns career averages of 21.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while shooting .518 from the field. He was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2011.