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A photo of Williams Gymnasium's basketball court before and after its recent renovation. LMC will formally dedicate McNair and Debi Tornow Court during Avery Chamber of Commerce Night when LMC hosts a basketball doubleheader against North Greenville starting at 5.30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Photo courtesy LMC Athletics

Originally published: 2013-01-10 15:32:38
Last modified: 2013-01-10 15:32:38

LMC to dedicate Tornow Court at Williams Gym January 16

Jamie Shell / (

During the holiday break, LMC replaced its existing gymnasium court used for basketball and volleyball with a new floor. McNair and Debi Tornow Court hosted its first basketball contest on Wednesday, Jan. 2, when LMC's men's basketball team hosted Tusculum College.

"We started in mid-May with a need to get our floor refinished. That led to someone really wanting to make a difference in the way that it looked. We went through a couple of different designs and wanted to do something that was more like a mountain-cabin feel, using the dark and light staining and natural maple feel," LMC Director of Athletics Craig McPhail said. "We wanted a finished product where people would see it and say 'wow,' and be impressed, and I certainly believe we've done that. The floor is beautiful, and we have had rave reviews so far from the public and from the players who have been on it in the short time we have had it completed."

Reaction from the athletic department, campus community and fan base as a whole has been nothing but positive on the Bobcats’ Facebook and Twitter pages, according to LMC Sports Information Director Whitney Noble, with pictures of the new floor receiving dozens of likes and comments within minutes of being posted.

“It is truly amazing to see the reaction of our fans to this new addition to our athletics program,” Noble said. “We couldn’t be happier with the finished product, and I for one am extremely excited to see what the future holds for our gym and the department as a whole.”

On Wednesday, Jan. 16, LMC basketball will host North Greenville University, with a formal dedication of the court scheduled to take place. The game is designated as Avery County Chamber of Commerce Night.

Tornow Court is named after donor and former LMC basketball player McNair Tornow and his wife, Debi, for their financial contribution to make the new floor a at Williams Gym a reality. Chamber members, as well as college and area dignitaries will be on hand to commemorate the occasion and promote local business and industry.

Kids less than 12 years old will be admitted free for the event (must be accompanied by an adult) and the first 50 attendees wearing LMC green will receive free admission. General admission is $3 at the door.

"The Tornows will be with us [Jan.16th], and we hope to have a big crowd," McPhail added. "We're excited about the chamber joining with us. We want to try to make it where people will want to invest more and be part of who we are at LMC and the athletic department."

LMC Athletics hopes to raise necessary funds for needed future renovations at Williams Gymnasium, most notably its seating, as McPhail explained the school's desire to replace its current bleachers with new seating at some point.

"We desperately need to put new bleachers in the gym. We have some drawings and designs on paper, so we are looking to do that," McPhail added. "The easiest way for us to get better in our sports programs is to enhance our facilities across the board. We're trying to find ways here to make our facilities better to attract student-athletes who can come in here and make a difference both in and out of the classroom."

For more information about LMC Athletics projects or Avery Chamber of Commerce Night, call McPhail at (828) 898-2483, or email (