Mark Shenkman, founder of Shenkman Capital Management Inc. in New York, and his wife, Rosalind, donated $2 million to help build a men’s and women’s basketball practice facility at the University of Connecticut.
The school in Storrs, Connecticut, has raised $24 million of the $32 million needed to build the practice center next to Gampel Pavilion, and will finance the rest. The 24-month project will begin as soon as possible, the school said in a release. Shenkman previously donated $2.5 million to the sports program and has endowed a classroom and the e-Commerce chair for the business school.
The practice center is being built as the Huskies men’s program changes to a new coaching staff after the retirement of Jim Calhoun, who guided the team to three national championships, four semifinal appearances and seven Big East Conference titles in 26 seasons.
“This gift represents an investment in the future of UConn basketball,” Shenkman said in a press release. “The completion of this basketball practice facility will certainly perpetuate UConn’s preeminent position as one of America’s college basketball capitals.”
Calhoun retired in September and was replaced by former UConn team captain and 13-season National Basketball Association veteran Kevin Ollie, who joined the staff two years ago as an assistant.
The practice facility will be shared by a women’s basketball team that has seven national championships, 13 semifinal appearances and four perfect seasons in Geno Auriemma’s 27 years as coach.
Shenkman, who received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Connecticut in 1965, is chairman of the UConn Foundation board and previously gave $2.5 million to name the athletic training and student recreational facility on the Connecticut campus.
He was elected to the UConn School of Business Hall of Fame in 2002.