University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations


September 1, 2004
Contact: Matt Smith, USA Media Relations at (251) 460-7035 ext. 5

USA Dedicates First-Class Basketball Venue, the Larry D. Striplin III Basketball Practice Facility

Mobile, Ala. - The University of South Alabama today officially dedicated the Larry D. Striplin III Basketball Practice Facility, a newly renovated gymnasium memorializing a former student and Jaguar basketball manager, and late son of University trustee Larry Striplin Jr. of Selma, Ala.

Standing from left are Larry Striplin Jr. and wife, Rhonda; President Gordon Moulton; Lauren Striplin, daughter of Larry Striplin III; and brother, David Striplin.
The Striplin family unveils a photo of Larry D. Striplin III, a former USA men’s basketball manager and late son of trustee Larry Striplin Jr. The newly renovated gymnasium has been named the Larry D. Striplin III Basketball Practice Facility in memory of the former manager. Standing from the left are Larry Striplin Jr. and wife, Rhonda; President Gordon Moulton; Lauren Striplin, daughter of Larry Striplin III; and brother, David Striplin.

In February 2003, the USA trustee graciously agreed to donate $200,000, in honor of his son, toward the renovation of USA’s West Gym, transforming the facility into a first-class basketball practice venue.

“Larry Striplin’s tireless support of athletics across the state is evidence of his closely held belief that athletics build character,” said USA President Gordon Moulton. “His interest in USA and selfless service are typified by the gift of this facility.”

Larry Striplin III was a USA student and manager of the men’s basketball program from 1973-75. He worked as a sales representative at his father’s company in Birmingham, Ala., Nelson-Brantley Glass Contractors Inc. He died of a heart attack in 2000 at the age of 46.

“My son Larry was very dedicated to the University of South Alabama,” the senior Striplin said. “He often spoke fondly of his two years as basketball manager under Coach Jimmy Taylor. I know if Larry was here today, he would be bursting with pride to receive this recognition for the university he loved so much. I echo that feeling on behalf of Larry's daughter, Lauren, and our entire family.”

The renovation included a complete overhaul of the facility, which is located in Jaguar Gym, next to USA’s Mitchell Center. A foyer was constructed along with a wall to divide the sections of the gymnasium. The court was stripped and refinished with new logos, identical to the playing court inside the 10,000-seat Mitchell Center. An improved lighting system was installed, along with a scoreboard, two portable goals and a filming tower. The walls were repainted, and new vents and tiles were added to the ceiling.

Dedication ceremony
USA coaches, student athletes and other members of the University community gather at a dedication ceremony to show their appreciation to the family of University trustee Larry D. Striplin Jr., whose $200,000 gift transformed West Gym into a first-rate basketball practice facility.

A member of USA’s Board of Trustees since 1998, Striplin has a long history of service to the University. In addition to his role as trustee, Striplin serves as chairman and chief executive officer of both Nelson-Brantley Glass Contractors and Clearview Properties. He is also managing partner of both Acquisition Participants and the St. James Hotel in Selma.

Striplin is a well-known sports figure across the state of Alabama. He served 12 years as chairman of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, where he established the Bryant-Jordan Scholar Athlete Foundation. Each year, the foundation awards college scholarships to 96 high school scholar-athletes.

In tribute to his service to sports in Alabama, he was named the 1998 Distinguished American Sportsman by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the sports halls of fame at Spring Hill College, Birmingham-Southern College, and Belmont College in Nashville. His interest and support of sports and education also led him to establish two athletic facilities at Birmingham-Southern, his alma mater.

USA Athletics Director Joe Gottfried is delighted with the improvements to the University’s practice gym.

“Being aware of Larry Striplin's many endeavors throughout the state, we are extremely appreciative of this generous gift to renovate West Gym,” Gottfried said. “What a beautiful gesture to name this facility after his son. The facility is important to our basketball programs. With this renovation and the Mitchell Center, we have some of the top basketball facilities in the country. Larry Striplin continues to demonstrate his interest in our program and the University, and for that, we would like to thank him.”

The freshly renovated facility will give the Jaguar basketball programs an advantage in recruiting, according to USA coaches John Pelphrey and Rick Pietri.

“Larry’s generosity has given South Alabama basketball an unbelievable competitive advantage,” said third-year men’s coach John Pelphrey. “We feel like we have an incredible basketball environment with the Mitchell Center, and now we feel the same way with the practice facility.”

USA women’s coach Rick Pietri shares similar feelings. “The players, coaching staff and I are very appreciative of Mr. Striplin for the contributions that he has made to our new practice facility,” Pietri said. “This is a first-class facility, and it is one that we are very proud of.”

Back     Print

USA Logo