Gonzaga’s remodeled locker room provides family atmosphere in spacious setting

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION (SR)
Inside the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room the locker area is a circular room, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Inside the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker each player has a closet-sized locker where managers hang their uniforms and arrange their shoes, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Inside the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room, each player has a closet-sized locker where managers arrange their uniforms and shoes before games, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Inside the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room each player has a choice of several models of Nike shoes, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Just outside the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room secured glass doors lead into the locker area, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Inside the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room a large couch is positioned by a giant display, often tuned to sports, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
In the lobby of the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room, trophies, including the national runner-up trophy, are arranged on a wall, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
In the lobby of the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room, trophies, including the national runner-up trophy, are arranged on a wall, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Inside the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room, a new refrigerated snack bar sit near the couches and TV area, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
In the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room, hot tubs are available in the shower area, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
In the hall leading to the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room there is a gallery of former Zag players who went to the NBA, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
In the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room, the Bulldog logo is painted on the floor, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Inside the recently updated Gonzaga University mens basketball locker room, a quote from Ronny Turiaf is featured, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Josh Perkins said his jaw hit the floor when he first toured Gonzaga’s remodeled men’s basketball locker room, and that was last month when construction was on-going.

“This place is unreal,” the junior point guard said.

A couple of wood-framed lockers away, redshirt freshman guard Zach Norvell Jr. had a similar reaction.

“It felt like we were in the NBA or something,” Norvell said. “Real spacious.”

Johnathan Williams glanced at the circular-shaped dressing room and saw a connection to the past, present and future. The senior forward tossed an assist to former Zags for “doing a lot of great things and creating this.” He said he’s “blessed” to enjoy the new digs in his senior season.

Inside the recently updated Gonzaga University men’s basketball locker room, the players’ lockers are arranged in a circular room, photographed Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

“Big-time locker room, TVs, comfortable chairs, all that,” Williams said. “It will be a good recruiting tool.”

The new entrance features two glass doors adorned with a massive Bulldog logo and a ‘G’ on the left door handle and a ‘U’ on the right.

Visitors walk inside to see eight championship trophies in a display case with the 2017 national finalist trophy as a centerpiece.

To the left is the coaches’ room, perhaps the most spartan section on the premises. Veer to the right and step into a players’ lounge with a giant big-screen TV that can be divided into four screens. There’s a seating area and three massage chairs. Coming soon: PlayStation4 or Xbox, or both.

A work station is situated in the corner with a couple of computers. Pictures of Gonzaga’s 17 All-Americans hang near a table with snacks, fruit and power bars, and a small refrigerator with water/sports drinks.

The lounge is adjacent to the players’ locker room. Seniors Williams and Silas Melson each have two lockers, the availability depending on the number of players on the roster.

“A locker room is important in any sport, any program, but especially here,” assistant coach Brian Michaelson said. “It’s part of that culture that everybody talks about, part of that family environment.

“I think our guys probably spend more time in the locker room together than at most other places. It’s where a lot of that bonding happens and a lot of the good times that you think back on. They’re in here a ton.”

Music can be piped into the lounge area or the locker room. Michaelson guessed Melson and Perkins are probably in charge of the tunes.

An entryway leads to restrooms and new individual shower stalls. There’s also a recessed hot tub and cold tub with a TV mounted on a nearby wall.

The best part of the expanded locker room?

“Easily the hot tub,” Perkins said. “I’m not a cold tub guy. I haven’t done it yet. They try to make me. I told them I might do it this year, but we’ll see. I guess I’ll have to do it now.”