McNeese returns to Legacy Center Saturday

Legacy Center
Legacy Center(KPLC)
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 9:38 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It will have been 681 days since either of the McNeese Basketball teams played in the Legacy center following the devastation of Hurricane Laura. Now both teams are preparing for the grand reopening on Saturday. For both coaches, it represents how far the community has come and a return home.

“Well yeah when I came in April, a lot of the signs were down and when they brought me in there was no floor, so then they start telling the story and you get the picture of what happened,” Women’s Head Coach Lynn Kennedy said. “You see and you hear of all the things that have happened and for me in my experience, everything that has happened since April, just to see the community and the city come together and just having each other’s backs and building up the city again in such a short amount of time and it just shows how much everyone is invested in the city and McNeese and you feel like it’s home and that’s what we wanted as a family to come here and to feel like you’re home.”

For Men’s Head Coach John Aiken who was an assistant coach while the pokes were still playing in the Legacy Center, he knows how much of an impact it can have on a team.

“Obviously this city and this community really care about this university and this place and so there is going to be people there and it’s really your first impression in your true home,” Aiken said. “We’ve been at burton and stuff and we’ll play in the rec center but this is your first impression when you’ll have a great crowd and you’ll have a great environment and you want them to leave out of here with a win so they will come back and you can create some momentum. We had a stretch where we had a great crowd against Lamar and we had a great crowd against Nicholls and momentum really started to build and we won seven in a row and it was because of what was going on in this arena and your team starts to feel like they are apart of something bigger. They see the people that show up and they see the energy that this place creates and it just develops a care factor.”

The Women tip-off at 1:00 PM on Saturday with the men set to follow.

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