History:

Located on the south eastern side of campus at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz, McKale Memorial Center was opened in February of 1973 and has been a staple of the community ever since. Named after former athletic director and coach J.F. "Pop" McKale, the arena has housed events such as NCAA tournament games, graduations and even a Presidential address from former United States President Barack Obama in 2011. Nowadays, fans can catch a game in McKale Memorial Center featuring both Men's and Women's basketball, volleyball and gymnastics. McKale Memorial Center remains the main attraction in the Eddie Lynch Athletic Pavilion, which has undergone several renovations and additions over the past 10 years, and sits next to Arizona Stadium and the Hillenbrand Aquatics Center. 

The McKale Memorial Center is most known as the home of the Arizona Wildcats Men's Basketball team. The Wildcats won the 1997 NCAA National Championship behind the coaching of Hall of Famer Lute Olson, who went 589-187 in 24 seasons at the helm, and cemented themselves as a central focal point of Tucson. Arizona remains a premier west coach destination for basketball recruits and has even shifted to a dominant Women's Basketball program as well. Former UA women's basketball star and now head coach Adia Barnes led the Wildcats to the NCAA women's basketball National Championship game in the 2020-21 season, where the team lost a heartbreaker to Stanford 54-53.

Since Olson retired in 2008, McKale Memorial Center has undergone several changes to modernize the venue for years to come. The biggest of which came right before the 2014-2015 season and saw seating, lighting, and railing upgraded, in addition to a brand new high definition scoreboard installed. Currently the arena holds 14,655 and consistently ranks among the top arenas in College Basketball. Add in the construction of the Richard Jefferson Gymnasium, and Arizona basketball and volleyball players have access to a plethora of modern facilities to work on their craft. 

 

 

McKale Memorial Center

Eddie Lynch Pavilion Sign

 

Notable McKale Center Records:

  • Most Points Scored by an Individual: 49, Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young, 12/28/2009
  • Most Points Scored in a Game (Team): 127, Arizona vs, Arizona State, 01/05/1998
  • Fewest Points Allowed: 25, Washington State, 01/02/2014
  • Highest Attendance: 15, 176, Arizona vs. New Mexico, 01/14/1976
  • Longest Game: 3 Overtimes, Arizona vs. Utah, 02/23/1973 and UCLA vs. Dayton, 03/14/1974

 

Notable Men's Basketball Program Accomplishments:

  • 75 NBA Draft Picks 
  • 33 NCAA Tournament Appearances
  • 18 Sweet Sixteens
  • 11 Elite Eights
  • 4 Final Fours
  • 1 National Championship

 

Notable current NBA players:

1.   Deandre Ayton (Current Team: Phoenix Suns)

2.  Aaron Gordon: (Current Team: Denver Nuggets)

3.  Solomon Hill: (Current Team: Atlanta Hawks) 

4.  T.J. McConnell: (Current Team: Indiana Pacers)

5.  Lauri Markkanen (Current Team: Cleveland Cavaliers)

6.  Stanley Johnson (Current Team: Toronto Raptors)

7.  Andre Iguodala (Current Team: Golden State Warriors)

8.  Josh Green (Current Team: Dallas Mavericks)

9.  Zeke Nnaji (Current Team: Denver Nuggets)

 

Notable current WNBA players:

1.   Aari McDonald (Current Team: Atlanta Dream)

 

Current NBA Head Coaches:

1.    Steve Kerr (Past Teams: Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns (executive position); Currently: Coach of the Golden State Warriors)

2.   Luke Walton (Past Teams: Los Angeles Lakers (player and coach), Cleveland Cavilers, University of Memphis (coach), Golden State Warriors (interim head coach); Currently: Coach of the Sacramento Kings)

 

 

 

Citations:

https://arizonawildcats.com/sports/2013/4/18/208232685.aspx

https://arizonawildcats.com/facilities

https://arizonawildcats.com/sports/womens-basketball

https://arizonawildcats.com/news/2021/4/4/womens-basketball-stanford-holds-off-arizona-54-53-to-win-womens-ncaa-title.aspx

https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/29756397/hall-fame-basketball-coach-lute-olson-dies-85

https://dream.wnba.com/roster/

https://arizonawildcats.com/documents/2021/10/25/2021_22_Media_Guide.pdf