Nicholls B-ball to play home games away during repairs

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 12, 2005

Colonels’ gym housed displaced residents for two months

THIBODAUX — The Nicholls men’s basketball team will begin its 2005-2006 home season playing its first two games at South Lafourche High School and the Alario Center.

On Dec. 17, the Colonels will travel to Galliano to compete against Kentucky Christian at 5 p.m.

Two days later, Nicholls will face Lipscomb in Westwego on a Monday night. Tip-off for that game is slated for 6 p.m.

Graduation, which will take place on Saturday, Dec. 17, was moved to Stopher Gym due to roof damage suffered at the Civic Center in Thibodaux.

After the commencement exercises conclude, the plan is to use the portable floor currently located at the Civic Center. The floor will be placed on top of the damaged court in Stopher Gym. If successfully installed, the hope is the men’s and women’s basketball teams can play the remainder of its games at Stopher.

Stopher’s floor suffered damage from leaky ice chests that were housed in the gym immediately following hurricane Katrina. For two months, displaced residents from the New Orleans area were housed in both Stopher and Shaver gyms.

&#8220With the damage to our gym we had to find alternate places to play,” Nicholls coach J.P. Piper said. &#8220We contacted a lot of places and luckily it worked out that South Lafourche and the Alario Center were available on the dates we needed them. We are excited about the opportunity to go and play somewhere else that’s right in our backyard. Hopefully the fans in these areas will embrace our team and come out and support us.”

The men will play its first game in Stopher on Thursday, Dec. 22, against Centenary at 2 p.m., while the Lady Colonels will have the chance to play all their home games at Stopher, as the floor is slated to be ready in time for their Dec. 21 meeting with Louisiana-Lafayette.

Members of the community have helped both programs throughout the last few months. Both teams practiced at Thibodaux, H.L. Bourgeois and Central Lafourche High School’s. Additionally, the men’s team played an exhibition game against the University of Mobile at H.L. Bourgeois on November 12.

&#8220We are anxious about hopefully playing at home again, but it is important to thank all the individuals who went out of their way to accommodate us during our time of need,” Piper said. &#8220From the mayor helping out with making the Civic Center’s portable floor available to us to representatives from Thibodaux, H.L. Bourgeois and Central Lafourche High School’s, everyone’s been great. I can’t say enough about how this community stepped up to help.”

&#8220This has been a difficult year in terms of our athletic facilities.  I appreciate the assistance from the local high schools and the City of Thibodaux.  Without their help, I am not certain what we would have done,” Athletics Director Rob Bernardi added.