The MedStar Wizards Performance Center has been renamed the MedStar Health Performance Center, according to a release by Monumental Sports & Entertainment on Thursday. According to MSE, the move comes as part of an enhancement of their existing partnership with MedStar Health.
It is more or less true that the practice facility adjoining the Entertainment and Sports Arena is there with the Wizards primarily in mind. But that said, they aren’t the only team there. The Mystics practice there as well as the Capital City Go-Go G-League affiliate. So the renaming of the facility wasn’t just overdue in my opinion. It should have been named the “MedStar Health Performance Center” or the “MedStar Health Basketball Performance Center” to begin with.
That said, this was the right decision. It came about after a recent renovation of the facility which opened in 2018. In a statement by Dr. Stephen Evans, the Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer for MedStar Health, he acknowledged that the facility was due for a name change.
“During the facility renovation, Monumental Basketball and MedStar Health took the opportunity to revisit the name of the facility and chose MedStar Health Performance Center to reflect the commitment we both have to helping all of the athletes within Monumental Basketball reach their potential. There are three teams training at this facility, which is unique within professional sports, and this new name reflects both how the center is truly used by them and how we view our role as long-term medical partners with Monumental Basketball.”
In addition to performance-oriented upgrades such as 16 doctors dedicated to Wizards, Mystics and Go-Go players, the new facility will include various designs like:
- A map highlighting Ward 8, the area of D.C. the facility is in.
- Digital displays will tell Monumental Basketball’s history, from the time when Wes Unseld made sure things weren’t over until fat lady sang, giving the then-Bullets the 1978 NBA championship through the time when Emma Meesseman went into “Belgian Beast Mode” to carry the Mystics to the 2019 WNBA championship. (Okay, my descriptions were NOT in the release!)
- A “Legends Wall” will be near the practice courts to highlight performances by players of the past. Wes Unseld and Earl Monroe will be on the wall for the Wizards, among others. Chamique Holdsclaw and Alana Beard will also be on there for the Mystics. The news on Beard comes coincidentally as she is one step toward being the leading owner of an Oakland-based WNBA team.
- MSE also donated $10 million to the revitalization of the St. Elizabeth’s East Campus and the surrounding neighborhood, which is Congress Heights.
I’m pleased with the renaming of the facility and that there will be multiple areas that honor the Wizards’ and Mystics’ history. I know I left the Go-Go out, but they still are very early in their history at the moment. Let us know your thoughts of the renaming of the practice facility in the comments below.