WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Michael Jordan Gymnasium is a huge part of Wilmington’s sports history. With the help of Jordan Brand the facelift at Laney is now complete.
From the moment you walk into the Michael Jordan Gymnasium at Laney High School you can tell something is different. The front lobby of the gym is more of a showpiece than it used to be. Some of these items will be staying, but some are only here only this week for the Annual Fred Lynch Invitational.
Once inside the gym it’s clear a lot is still the same. Same floor, same bleachers, but the lights are brand new and state of the art. Plus, a lot of paint can go a long way. It’s clean, it’s fresh and the pictures of Michael Jordan on the wall have been updated. Nathan Faulk is the Laney head coach.
“I am very proud of Jumpman and Brand Jordan being a part of the tournament this year.” Laney basketball coach Nathan Faulk told WWAY. “We’re proud of what they’ve done to the gym. All the kids and participants and excited. It’s a good day to be a Buc.”
Tyrell Kirk is a Whiteville High basketball standpoint. Kirk was excited to play in the renovated gym. “It feels good to play here, at an NBA player that was good, It’s great to play at his old school. It’s nice.”
You’ve probably heard the expression, “It’s all about the shoes.” At Laney this week that’s certainly the case. “The kids that play here at Laney on the court get to play in the new Jordans, put them on, kinda like a trial, and then they turn those shoes in when they get back playing.” This procedure of shoe exchange resembles a bowling experience. On top of that players in the Fred Lynch Invitational get to enjoy a renovated players lounge, free haircuts and a Michael Jordan photo booth.
The Fred Lynch Invitational tipped off on Monday at six different locations in New Hanover County. 50 high school basketball teams are competing in the three-day event.
In 2012 Laney boys basketball coach Nathan Faulk started the Fred Lynch Invitational in honor of previous head coach Fred Lynch. The 2015 event will feature 50 high school teams from around the state.
Dates: June 22-24
Locations: Laney High School (Michael Jordan Gymnasium) Trask Middle School, Holly Shelter Middle School, Northside Baptist facility, Wrightsboro Baptist and the brand new Wilmington Basketball Center in Ogden.
Format: Pool play for basketball games on Monday and Tuesday with a single game elimination tournament on Wednesday. There will be three tournament champions crowned on Wednesday.
Admission: 3-Day Pass: $15 or $6 per day Under 12: FREE