Paine College teams play in HEAL Complex for first time - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Paine College teams play in HEAL Complex for first time

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There's no place like home. That's what the Paine College basketball teams are saying after playing their first game in their brand new gym.

"It was a good feeling to actually be at home," said Breasia Burns, a sophomore forward for the Lady Lions.

 "Now we have somewhere where we can be stable," said Willie Adams, head coach of the women's team. "We can get up enough shots that we can get used to the atmosphere."

Saturday morning, Paine College cut the ribbon to the Health, Education, Activities and Learning Complex, or HEAL Complex. Before the $8.5 million facility was built, both teams would have to use Richmond Academy's high school gym, or even drive to North Augusta for practices; traveling that was a royal pain for the players.

"Coach would text us one day saying that we have practice at Richmond, and then switch it an hour later," said Ashley Watts, a sophomore guard for the women's team. "It was crazy."

But now, hitting the hardwood couldn't feel better, as the Lady Lions tipped off against the Stillman College Tigers, followed by the men's game.

"It felt good," Watts said. "The environment was different than at Richmond as far as it being our own gym, and we had way more fans come out tonight." 

The HEAL Complex will not only attract more fans but also more recruits. Both head coaches say the HEAL Complex will assist in their recruiting efforts for the future.

"It's definitely going to up it. And we'll definitely be able to get some higher caliber players," said Jimmy Link, head coach of the men's team. "We got some this year just because it was being built, but it's going to get even better as we have some guys coming in mid-year."

And as the new facility becomes a strong foundation for college to build upon, the players and their coaches are comfortably making themselves at home

The Lady Lions beat Stillman College 64 to 44, while the men just made it past the Tigers 96 to 90.

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