The new Marriott Center Annex has been a game changer for the men’s and women’s BYU basketball teams this summer.
The annex, located between the Marriott Center and the BYU Broadcasting building, was completed and unveiled to the public this past February.
The 38,000-square-foot building was funded completely through private donations. Some of the annex’s features include a strength and conditioning center, a training room with a cryosauna and hydrotherapy, an exact replica of the Marriott Center court, two additional shooting areas and team lounges.
Tim LaComb, assistant head coach for the men’s team, acknowledged the difference the new annex has made for his team.
“It’s been a huge plus for us,” LaComb said. “We basically have that thing all day every day.”
In previous years, the basketball teams practiced at the Marriott Center or the Richards Building.
“It wasn’t too out of the norm last year to have complications … like this year the Marriott Center floor is being worked on, so we’d probably be in the (Richards Building) the whole time, and with camps and classes, there was always some kind of conflict,” LaComb said. “But this year, we have the floor whenever we want it.”
Braiden Shaw, a 6-foot-9-inch forward from Eagle, Idaho, is returning for his third season with the men’s basketball team. Shaw agreed the annex’s availability for the team has been helpful.
“The super nice part is that it’s open to us whenever we want,” Shaw said. “If I have a busy day, if I have to go do something, I can go scan into the Marriott Center Annex and just get shots up then, so it’s way nice to just have it whenever we need it.”
Shaw also said the annex makes it easier for the team to prepare because everything they need is in one place.
“So we show up in the mornings, we can get our own shots up, we can practice as a team, we can condition and we can lift, all in the same building,” Shaw said. “It’s all just kind of done, rather than running around.”
Dalton Nixon, a 6-foot-7-inch forward from Orem, recently returned from an LDS mission in Boston. He has also found the new annex to be very beneficial since returning.
“It’s been really nice being back and having our own practice facility and be able to go and get individual work in and also have a little bit more isolation with our team working out together,” Nixon said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Cassie Broadhead, the 2016-2017 WCC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, said her favorite feature of the new annex aside from the court is the film room.
Broadhead said she spends a lot of time in the annex practicing, conditioning, lifting and occasionally even doing her homework there.
“I basically live here — all of us do,” Broadhead said.
LaComb is excited about the annex and for the upcoming season.
“I think it’ll be a fun thing to watch and see our guys develop and it’ll be a process,” LaComb said. “But the guys are excited and I think the people, the fans, will be really excited to see the new team.”