Weight room newest improvement at GSU

The $850,000 strength-and-conditioning room is more than three times larger than the old 1,200 square-feet room that the university previously used.

James Greenwell, Georgia State’s executive senior associate athletics director, said the new facility has alleviated some of the scheduling challenges the Panthers sports teams had when they used the old weight room, which was on the first floor of the Sports Arena.

“We could only fit a certain number of athletes in the old room, and now we can have three sports teams in there at one time,” Greenwell said.

The facility is the latest in a series of renovations and additions made by the Georgia State athletics department. The university completed the second phase of the football team’s new practice facility earlier this month.

Greenwell said Georgia State also added new drainage to its baseball field in an effort to correct the delays and lost games that the team endured because of rain last season. The baseball field was laser-grated, and a new pitcher’s mound, pitching rubbers and home plates were added to the baseball and softball fields.

Basketball

Panthers coach Rod Barnes said he was not surprised by the strong reviews received by signee DeVonta White in the “Flyin’ to the Hoop Invitational” in Kettering, Ohio, last week.

White, a 6-foot guard from Centennial High School, was called by Reggie Rankin of Scouts, Inc., the “surprise player” of the invitational. Rankin was impressed with White’s ability to make shots and his defensive effort. Brian Snow of Rivals.com said “Georgia State has an absolute steal in White.”

“I think DeVonta has a chance to be a great player,” Barnes said. “He helps other guys get better.”

Barnes said the competition in the invitational consisted of some of the top players in the country.

“I’ve watched DeVonta so much in the recruiting process, and I was telling my staff that if we sign this kid, people will remember his name,” Barnes said.

Football

The Panthers will host their second annual signing-day celebration Wednesday at the GSU Student Center Ballroom. Coach Bill Curry and his staff will be on hand to talk about their new signees. The event starts at 4:30 p.m.

Baseball

The Panthers spent last Saturday afternoon visiting with the children at Scottish Rite Hospital. The team took part in a lot of activities, including playing video games and doing arts and crafts. The visit was part of a university-wide initiative from athletics director Cheryl L. Levick, who wants all teams to be more involved in their community. Georgia State athletes have performed more than 2,200 hours of community service this year.

Etc.

Georgia State and JW Broadcasting have reached an agreement to make 1160 AM (WCFO) the official flagship radio station for Panthers football and men’s basketball games. The deal begins immediately and runs through the 2011-12 school year. Georgia State student radio station WRAS 88.5 FM will continue serving as the student station of Panthers athletics.

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