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Barclays Center nets college hoops bonanza

Construction On The New Jersey Net's New Home In Brooklyn, The Barclays Center Continues

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 05: A billboard announcing, “Welcome to Brooklyn ’12" is seen next to the Barclay Center, a sports arena and future home of the the National Basketball Association’s New Jersey Nets, that is currently under construction, on March 5, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The stadium is scheduled to open September 28, 2012; the New Jersey Nets will be renamed the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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Brooklynites (Brooklonians? Brookies?) are rightfully excited about the prospect of welcoming the NBA’s Nets to the borough next season. Even in if the team struggles, Brooklyn gets a major dose of glamor from Jay-Z and the celebrities who will no doubt follow him to courtside seats at the Barclays Center.

The windfall for college hoops fans will be excellent, as well, according to Adam Zagoria of “Beginning in November, the new Barclays Center will host some of the most storied programs in college hoops,” he wrote. “including Kentucky, UCLA, Indiana, Maryland, Georgetown, Michigan, St. John’s, Notre Dame and West Virginia.”

The swanky new digs may help Steve Lavin keep local talent at home. While Madison Square Garden is a truly historic building with a funky charm all its own, modern athletic prodigies are more likely to be swayed by a shiny new court and up-to-date facilities than grotty landmarks. Not to mention, the cachet of the name Jay-Z. Jay- Z, people!

Lavin is clearly looking forward to the NYC recruiting coups he can pull off by getting down in front of local recruits:

“To play a local school like St. Francis at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn is a natural fit,” said St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin. “Some of St. John’s most-prolific players and loyal fans throughout our storied history have roots that trace back to the borough of Brooklyn. This game and new venue presents a nice way to pay homage to that dimension of our legacy.”

The A-10 tournament will also be played in Brooklyn, with new members VCU and Butler bringing even more flash to the event.