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A look inside Idaho's new basketball home court, the ICCU Arena

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After three years, The University of Idaho is putting the finishing touches on the ICCU Arena, the home court for Vandal basketball.

Gone are the days of sharing facilities with volleyball and football teams. The Idaho men’s and women’s basketball team now has their own arena to call home.

“It’s incredible. When you walk in there’s definitely an awe factor,” said Matt Martin, University of Idaho’s senior Associate Athletic Director. “It’s the most unique facility in the country.”

One of the more distinctive features is the use of wood throughout the facility. All the lumber was cut in Idaho forests.

During the day, the arena is illuminated with natural light coming out of the huge windows on the north side.

It also offers all the typical amenities: A practice gym, Training room broadcast room and the new and improved locker rooms. Throughout the facility, there’s also remnants of the original Cowan Spectrum, Idaho basketball’s prior home within the Kibbie Dome.

"It was important that we honored the past and built the future. Finding ways to incorporate the old Cowan Spectrum court was really important to us,” Martin said.

For returning and new players alike, it’s the perfect way to generate some extra buzz for the upcoming season.

“It’s beautiful,” said sophomore guard Sydney Gandy. “I think everyone is really excited for it.”

“I think it’s going to be a real special moment for all of us to finally get out here and compete,” said junior guard Trevante Anderson, one of the Vandal men’s basketball transfers to join the program this season.

For head women’s basketball coach Jon Newlee, it’s the perfect way to catch the eye of future recruits. He says not having an arena was a deterrent in the past.

“They told me flat out, ‘Coach I would go to Idaho but you don’t have an arena.’ Well we don’t have that excuse now. We have the best arena there is,” he said.

Now after a season with no fans, the vandals will bounce back in a big way. Coach Newlee expects a packed house each night.

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“It’s the best arena in the Big Sky, by far. Now it needs to be the hardest place to play. And that’s on the fans, to come in here and really make this place the hardest place to play,” he said. “That’s what I’m hoping for.”

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