Two Final Fours. Four Sweet Sixteens. 15 NCAA Tournament Appearances. Two NIT Championships.
With all of the prestige and tradition that defines Providence College men's basketball, it was becoming clear that the team's facilities in Alumni Hall were in need of a facelift that would properly showcase the College's place in the annals of college basketball. A new home for Friar basketball that could display the explosiveness of Marvin Barnes, the finesse of Ernie DiGregorio and the versatility of Ryan Gomes to the team and its fans alike.
This renovation project became a reality in January of 2009 when the Joe Calabria Hallway of Legends was completed. Consisting of nine exhibit areas and seven display cases, the hallway features players and teams from each era of the Providence College basketball program. The hallway's floor is a replica of the Friars' Dave Gavitt Court at the Dunkin' Donuts Center and the project also includes a complete renovation of the coaching staff's offices, the film room and the team's locker room.
This $400,000 project was made possible by a generous gift from Providence College alumnus Joe Calabria '65. Calabria has been a long-time donor to the school and wanted to help spearhead a project that would show how much he loves his alma mater. Providence College Athletics Director Bob Driscoll and his staff hired Joseph Merritt Company to graphically design and layout all aspects of the project, anchored by principal curator and designer, Harrison "Whitey" Jenkins.
For each exhibit area, the PC staff collected elements from the school's archives and wrote text to accompany the pictures and artifacts on the exhibit walls and inside the display cases. From there, Jenkins designed the exhibits and the digital files were sent out to the installation company to be produced and constructed.
In all, over 3,000 elements were coordinated to create the new hallway and over 10 flat screen televisions were installed to enhance the exhibits with video footage and interactive features. The audio and video features were provided by Sound FX, a company based out of Warwick, R.I. and Seekonk, Mass.
The exhibit areas include a "Meet The Friars" section highlighting the current Friars team as well as a "Friar Legends Forever" area that showcases some of the program's best players including Barnes, Jimmy Walker and John Egan.
The "Hall of Fame Friars" exhibit tells the story of Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductees Dave Gavitt, Lenny Wilkens and John Thompson, while "The Greatest Names In Friar History" area highlights the 34 most important people in the history of PC basketball. There are also areas featuring the Dunkin' Donuts Center, the BIG EAST Conference, the school's postseason teams and Friars who have gone on to the NBA.
The hallway's seven display cases include tributes to the school's 1973 and 1987 Final Four teams, the 1994 BIG EAST Championship team, PC's NIT Championships in 1961 and 1963 and stories on Ryan Gomes and Jimmy Walker. Another case highlights PC players that have been selected in the NBA or ABA draft.