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Some leaders hope and promise while others plan and commit, and Doc Sadler knows what camp his program is living in right now. Every day that Nebraska's head basketball coach walks through the door of the Hendricks Training Complex and sees the $18.7 million extreme makeover that's almost complete, one word comes to mind ... commitment. "Commitment is something everybody talks about, but this shows our commitment," Sadler said.
"People who come here for the first time will see something that wasn't just talk, it's follow-through in a first-class way, just like any other thing that gets done at Nebraska. Recruits will see our commitment - from Tom Osborne to the entire administrative team to the fans who contributed to make it all possible. There are a lot of impressive things about this new facility, but I think commitment is the most impressive thing of all."
Sadler gave the Whitehead family a personal tour of Nebraska's new daily digs that will be officially dedicated on Oct. 13 and open for season ticketholders to see on Oct. 15.
The Goal: Build the 'Nicest Facility in the Country'
"Bus Whitehead was a fixture around here for a long time, and our practice court has his signature on it," Sadler said. "Bus played basketball here and went on to have a very successful life. His kids have contributed back to the program, and I know Bus would be very appreciative of this facility. It will be hard for anyone to say 'I wish we would have done this' or 'I wish we would have done that.' The decisions we made were designed to make this the nicest facility in the country, and I don't think anyone's going to be disappointed."
The Whitehead family made a sizable contribution to honor their late father. "This facility met all my expectations, and I had high expectations to begin with," said Mark Whitehead, who now operates the company his dad founded. "I think people are going to be genuinely impressed overall. Of course, this is important to our family because of the naming opportunity and everything that this whole program meant to my dad and how much he really got behind it. When recruits visit and see this kind of commitment, I think it will truly differentiate Nebraska from other schools."
Lesley Jaggers and Sydney Uthoff, Whitehead's two daughters, are equally impressed, even though finishing touches still must be made. "It's beautiful - better than I ever could imagine. My dad would be so proud of everything in here." Jaggers said. Uthoff described the new facility as "awesome" and says she knows what her dad would say seeing such a facility. "He'd say: 'Now that we have the best facility in the country, let's go recruit the best players in the country.'"
Hendricks, Hawks Families Ensure Excellence
The Tom and Mary Hendricks family from Pipe Creek, Texas, made a $10 million donation to jump-start the fund-raising effort for the new training complex in the Devaney Sports Center. Neal Hawks, originally from Omaha and now living in Flower Mound, Texas, made a significant contribution to ensure overall audio-visual excellence and student-athlete comfort in Nebraska's new home for men's basketball.
Hawks based his contribution on a rigorous standard - that anything a recruit would see or experience would be first-class. Sadler said that commitment will be obvious to every recruit that visits and every student-athlete lucky enough to have a locker in the new Hendricks Training Complex.
Make sure you see it.
You'll understand how commitment is taking Nebraska basketball to a whole new level.
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