Fairleigh Dickinson’s shower nightmare is finally over.
After being forced to watch film in the community shower room in their locker room last season, Fairleigh Dickinson men's basketball is set to unveil a brand new locker room and film room Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf. The new facilities were made possible after the Knights’ remarkable run in the NCAA tournament last season, which led to donors hitting a $500,000 target for the athletic department.
The Knights knocked off No. 1 seed Purdue in the opening round of the tournament last spring, which marked just the second time in history that a No. 16 seed had won in the first round.
While some locker rooms’ showers would be big enough to hold a film session in theory, that wasn’t the case at FDU at all. It was a very small space, and water would drip on the team constantly.
After their #16 upset of #1 Purdue, Fairleigh Dickinson tomorrow unveils a new locker/film room, so they no longer have to watch film in the shower: pic.twitter.com/F0gyiNtbIo
— John Boel (@JohnBoelWAVE3) November 14, 2023
“It was a tighter space, so it’s not like you’re in the shower room and everybody’s comfortable,” FDU coach Jack Castleberry said, via ESPN. “Everyone was kind of on top of each other and one of the shower heads was still leaking like a little drop of water every 15 seconds … One time, we were watching film and [one of our players] keeps looking back because the water is literally dripping on him as we're watching scouting reports for the next game. You can't make it up."
Though FDU fell in the second round of the tournament, the win over the Boilermakers changed everything for the school. According to ESPN, undergraduate applications increased by 32% after the win, and online apparel sales jumped up more than 300%. Attendance for an open house for potential students next school year was up nearly 50% last month, too.
But perhaps most importantly, the basketball team will finally get proper facilities.
"When I would be out there preaching, I was preaching without evidence, asking for belief without evidence, and now I've got evidence of it," FDU athletic director Brad Hurlbut told ESPN. "Just how proud those people are. To hear from people that graduated in '68, '70, '72 that said, 'You've made my life. I can die happy now.' And the tears they have in their eyes when they're talking to you. That's immeasurable, right? They are opening up their checkbooks and they want to be a part of it and it makes our [request] that much easier."
The school will unveil the brand new locker room and film room before Wednesday’s game against Saint Peter’s. The Knights are 2-1 so far this season, but are coming off a 85-55 loss to Seton Hall last week. They went 21-16 last season, and finished second in the NEC tournament but still made the NCAA tournament as Merrimack was ineligible amid its transition to Division I.