CINCINNATI -- What a week this will be for the Withrow boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.
A new gymnasium floor is ready to go this week after the previous court experienced flood damage in August. The old floor had been in use for up to seven years, according to the school.
The new floor highlights the picturesque exterior of Withrow High School, which opened in 1919. The renovated historic school building includes a 114-foot clock tower and arched footbridge. A photo of the new floor has drawn very good reviews on social media this week.
“We are excited the games will happen at Withrow and the court is ready go this week,” said Josh Hardin, Cincinnati Public Schools district athletics manager.
The girls’ basketball team (11-9) plays host to Turpin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on what will be Senior Night. The junior varsity is scheduled at 6 p.m.
"I think it's nice," Withrow girls' coach Nathaniel Snow said. "It brings some pride to the school. It will boost morale and charisma. It will be good to come home on Senior Night."
The girls’ basketball team has played home games at Woodward and Clark Montessori while the boys’ team has mostly played at Cincinnati State with one home game at Woodward.
The girls’ varsity team was scheduled to practice on the floor Tuesday night. After Wednesday’s game against visiting Turpin, Withrow plays at Milford Saturday in the regular-season finale.
The boys’ team will play host to Glen Este Friday night in a game that will also feature Withrow Hall of Fame inductees that include former NBA players Tyrone Hill (1986 Withrow graduate) and Brandon Hunter (1999 grad). The induction ceremony will take place at halftime of a game scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Other inductees include former football standout Horace Pumphrey (1942 grad), former baseball/basketball standout Joe Brefeld (1957 grad) and former volleyball and track standout Skyler Willis (2011 grad).
The Tigers (11-7) won five consecutive games entering Tuesday night’s game at Woodward. Withrow will also have a regular-season home finale scheduled for Feb. 17 against Milford.
Withrow Athletic Director Brandon Franke found a photo of the school he liked in mid-December and the design was applied to the court. He said the design is similar to what Xavier used at Cintas Center in displaying the city skyline.
“For me personally, I am very excited to display the court,” Franke said.
The boys’ team has practiced at various schools including South Avondale Elementary this season. Players and coaches helped each other with transportation. The team found a common purpose without a home court.
“We can’t wait,” Withrow boys’ coach Shaun O’Connell said. “The kids have been great. It’s been a bonding thing.”
Withrow was recently named the most beautiful high school campus in Ohio and this court is an opportunity to showcase that distinction inside the school.
Players and coaches are ready for the opportunity.
“They’re pumped about Friday,” O’Connell said. “The younger guys are more excited because they know they have a few more years. It’s great to have it ready for Senior Night.”