Before tipping off the Nevada men's basketball game tonight at Lawlor Events Center, Nevada Athletics celebrated the single-largest donor gift in department history. This $4 million gift from Eric ’82 (mechanical engineering) and Linda Lannes, alongside two $2 million gifts from anonymous donors, will be key to continuing the growth of the Wolf Pack basketball programs.
Thanks to this generous support, the north end of campus will soon be home to another state-of-the-art facility. Currently in the design phase and set to open by early 2024, the new Men’s & Women’s Basketball Locker Room Building will continue to build on the growth of the Wolf Pack basketball programs — housing brand new team locker rooms and player lounges for both the men’s and women’s teams. In addition, these gifts have helped inspire a larger capital campaign for Nevada Athletics. More details will be announced later this spring.
“This is a transformational moment for the future of our women’s and men’s basketball programs,” University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval said. “We cannot thank the individuals who have made these historic gifts enough for their belief in the future of our women’s and men’s basketball programs. We already feel that we are building a championship culture throughout our entire athletics department, and today’s announcement demonstrates that the impact our student-athlete athletes have in competition and in impacting our community in a very positive way will be magnified to an entirely new level.”
In 2017, major renovations transformed the Lombardi Recreation Center into the Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center, which has served as a centerpiece for player development and recruiting. This performance center has already been transformative for the Wolf Pack basketball programs, but it was simply phase one.
“State-of-the-art training and practice facilities are key to building a world-class athletics program through recruitment and retention of student-athletes,” said Doug Knuth, Wolf Pack director of athletics. “I want to commend Head Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Alford and Associate Head Coach Craig Neal for their leading role in helping to secure these gifts. Without the support of our community and these generous donors, providing these leading-edge facilities would not be possible.”
Eric and Linda Lannes began their support of Wolf Pack basketball with a gift to the Lombardi Renovation Fund in September 2019 and now extend their generosity to aid in the construction of this new facility. Eric Lannes, who graduated with his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University, went on to serve as executive vice president with a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial and industrial water and space heating products and is proud to be able to support his alma mater in such a meaningful way.
“Like many in northern Nevada, Wolf Pack Athletics has always been close to my heart as a student and now alumnus,” said Lannes ’82. “We are honored to be part of the basketball program’s continued growth and help provide a facility that will be used every day by our student-athletes to advance their skills on the court and on their path to graduation. We hope this gift inspires others to invest in Nevada Athletics and its tremendous student-athletes. They are a true asset to the University.”
Those interested in supporting the Men’s & Women’s Basketball Locker Room Building Fund can contact Senior Associate AD for Development & External Craig Fink at (775) 799-0508.