|Photo Courtesy of John Liddle
Get a look at these prep hoops palaces.
There's something magical about high school basketball
basketball gyms. The bright lights and school tones, the orange accents of the rim and ball and the rich browns of the hardwood
give them a unique color contrast all their own.
How the stands are constructed - multi-decked, round or square,
end zones or concrete walls - makes gyms unique.
All present a theater setting that is magnificent viewing from
virtually every angle.
We set out to feature 10 of the most unique venues in the country, both historic and contemporary.
Hundreds were considered and no doubt there are many more left to explore. Help us feature high school basketball gym gems
by reaching out on Facebook or Twitter.
Listed in order of appearance in the video above, read on for a quick glance at our featured gyms.
Hall (Pottsville, Pa.)
Home of the Pottsville Crimson Tide
Year opened: 1970
Seating capacity: 4,100
Briefly: Called the "Heaven of Hardwood," the original wooden upper deck bleachers remain
and are a fan favorite. Also known by locals as "The Mecca," Kobe Bryant, Billy Owens and Sam Bowie played games
Raider Arena (Cleveland, Tenn.)Home of the Cleveland RaidersYear opened: 2016
Seating capacity: 2,700Briefly: The
state-of-the-art, $11 million arena, with an NBA-style "floating floor," replaced the 50-year-old Raider Dome that
was deemed structurally unsound.Photos by Dan BrowningRaider Arena, Cleveland Tenn.Hatchet House (Washington, Ind.)
Home of the Washington HatchetsYear opened: 1967
Seating capacity: 7,090Briefly: Originally
built in 1925, it was replaced in 1966 with the arena that stands today. An excerpt from stadiumjourney.com: "The nanosecond you walk into the building you feel the aura of various championship teams. ... The echoing of the
crowds, and the smell of the thick wooden bleachers mixed in with the odor of old popcorn, flat soda, and stale hot dog buns.
The Hatchet House is as advertised, a perfect example of a Hoosier Temple."
John Q. Hammond Arena (Tulsa,
Home of the Union RedskinsYear opened: 2003
Seating capacity: 5,662Briefly: A
giant video screen is at the center of the $22-million facility, that also hosted the Summit League men's basketball tournament
from 2005 to 2008.
Wildcat Den (Chinle, Ariz.)
Home of the Chinle Wildcats
Year opened: 2006
Seating capacity: 7,500
prominently in the Netflix series "Basketball or Nothing," the $23 million facility was built on the Navajo Reservation
and is reportedly the 14th-largest high school gymnasium in the country. Also featured in the MaxPreps Beyond the X series Rez Ball.
Sandra Meadows Memorial Arena (Duncanville, Texas)
Home of the Duncanville Panthers and Pantherettes
Year opened: 2003
Seating capacity: 2,000Briefly: Named
after the late Meadows, a 25-year coach for the Pantherettes (743-120 record) and a 2002 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.
School colors red and blue dominate the gym.
Hinsdale Central Main Gym (Hinsdale, Ill.)
of the Hinsdale Central Red Devils
Year opened: 1952Seating capacity: 4,200Briefly: The
bright red looping red ribbons that hang from the ceiling give immediate energy, as do the many bright red features. More
than 120 championship banners dating back from 1909 gives Hinsdale Central Gym a definite classic feel as well.
Scouts Event Center (Fort Defiance, Ariz.)
Home of the Window Rock Fighting Scouts
Year opened: 2004
Seating capacity: 6,500Briefly: Also
built in Navajo nation, Window Rock is Chinle's No. 1 rival and many believe they tried to top Wildcat Den with a three-level
arena divided between a 4,000-seat main level, 2,500-seat upper level and 40-seat hospitality suit.
Castle Fieldhouse (New Castle, Ind.)
Home of the New Castle Trojans
Year re-opened: 1959Seating capacity: 7,829
considered the largest gym in the country when it seated 9,325, The Field House was once tabbed the "Cracker Box"
when it sat just 1,800 back in the 1920s before being rebuilt in 1959 at the cost of $875,000.
Gymnasium (Benton, Ky.)
Home of the Marshall County Marshals
Year opened: 1979Seating capacity: 6,000Briefly: Named
after a former school superintendent, the late Reed Conder, this is the considered the Taj Mahal of venues in the basketball-rich
Bluegrass State. It hosts the Marshall County Hoopfest, which has featured such NBA stars as Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose
and programs from more than 20 states.
Photo by Wayne LitmerReed Conder Gymnasium, Marshall County
The "Mecca" Martz Hall