SDSU names Viejas Arena hardwood ‘Steve Fisher Court’

by Ryan Posner, Assistant Sports Editor

San Diego State named the Viejas Arena hardwood “Steve Fisher Court” to honor the current head coach of the men’s basketball team during a news conference Thursday.

“The record speaks for itself,” SDSU president Elliot Hirshman said. “(Fisher) has transformed our basketball program.”

The decal to honor the newly named “Steve Fisher Court” is displayed right in front of the scorers table in white letters just beyond the out-of-bounds line.

Fisher took over as the team’s head coach in 1999, after the team was coming off a season with just four wins.

Since then, he has guided the Aztecs to eight trips to the NCAA tournament, including six straight appearances and nine Mountain West championships. He has also been a two-time National Coach of the Year.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the folks that have played a role in the success we’ve had and I happen to be the head coach. I’m very honored,” Fisher said.

Athletic director Jim Sterk approached Fisher about the idea.

fisher“When (Sterk) told me, I took a little while to react and I’m honored he would consider doing it, and it made me feel great that he would want to do it,” Fisher said.

The announcement comes four days before Fisher enters his 17th season with SDSU, as the team takes on Cal State San Marcos in an exhibition next Monday.

“No one stays in our profession stays anywhere (near) 17 years, you can probably count them on one hand,” Fisher said. “It happens for a lot of reasons, you got to be a little lucky, you have to have support from important people and then you have to have a community of people to get engaged.”

Sterk said there would be a ceremony to commemorate the naming of the hardwood before the team’s opener.

While the ceremony occurred Thursday, the new decal has been on the court for the past few days while the team has been practicing in the arena.

Apparently, it is going to take some time before the new name of the hardwood sets in.

“I’ll be honest with you, we’ve practiced in here and the players and I haven’t noticed it, and it was on there, we didn’t cover it up,” Fisher said with a smile.

Along with the court naming, a $500,000 challenge gift was donated anonymously to create the “Steve Fisher Basketball Endowment” which hopes to reach $1 million eventually. The funds will go to generating support for basketball excellence.