Thomas Martinez of Century Bank stands on the newly rebranded "Century Bank Court" at EVHS gym. Photo by Robert Naranjo, Valley Daily Post
Century Bank Has The Floor
By Robert A. Naranjo
EL LLANO – The Española Valley High School gymnasium recently received a basketball court sponsorship from Century Bank.
The newly christened, “Century Bank Court” at Edward Medina Gymnasium is the state’s premiere high school basketball venue, said EVHS Athletic Director Eric Vigil in a recent interview. When asked if it’s ever called a “mini Pit” (UNM’s University Arena, now called “WisePies Arena) Vigil said “Definitely I’ve heard it referred to it as that (the Pit). A lot people are aware that it’s the biggest high school gym in the state as far as how many people can fit in it. We take a lot of pride in that and the fan support that we do have. I graduated from here and there is a lot of pride and fan support that travels with the team…” Vigil reported that the Edward Medina Gymnasium, built in 1979 and named after a former Española Municipal Schools (name of Schools then) superintendent has a capacity of 4,OOO (standing room only).
An Española Valley capacity crowd at Edward Medina Gymnasium is loud enough to be reminiscent of the nationally famous Pit and definitely is the “6th man” for the Sundevils. When EVHS makes the state basketball tournament and the game is close, especially towards the end of the game, the famous capacity crowd at the Pit(15,411) that is larger than the
Edward Medina Gymnasium at
EVHS. Valley Daily Post image
population of the City of Española (1O,496) noise level (decibels) is said to make opposing team crumble and fall apart with the crowd so loud that “…you can’t hear yourself think.” The reader may ask, “How can a crowd of 4,OOO make almost as much noise as 15,411 and be linked to such a famous and larger basketball venue?” One word, “Echo!” And, a Spanish word for emphasis, “gritanto” (yelling or screaming), so maybe not as loud, but close!
When asked about the newly refinished playing floor and support from Century Bank as a playing court sponsorship. Vigil said “Thomas and I have been talking about this for a while and to see it become a reality is very exciting… We really appreciate Century Bank giving back to the student athletes of Española Valley High School. We love the way the court came out and hopefully it will be a win-win situation for both of us,” he said. Asked what the players thought of the design and refinish work on the court, the sponsor and everyone behind them, Vigil said, “Yes, definitely, the players comments have been that it really does look like a first class facility. They are excited to play on it!”
We wanted to give back to the community,” Thomas Martinez of Century Bank said when asked why the bank, one of New Mexico’s largest home-owned bank (founded in Santa Fe over 1OO years ago), name is now gracing one of the most exciting high school basketball courts in the state. Martinez would not disclose details as to the sponsorship but acknowledged that the playing floor would be called “Century Bank Court” at Edward Medina Gymnasium at Española Valley High School. So a radio play-by-play announcer, say Richard Garcia, and Rudy “Big Rud” Sisneros, color commentary, whom have carried EVHS games live on KDCE AM & FM radio for years, are likely going to say to the listening audience: “Welcome everyone to Century Bank Court at
Thomas Martinez of Century Bank standing
on the new court.Valley Daily Post image
Edward Medina Gymnasium on the campus of Española Valley High School. It promises to be an exciting game tonight against arch rival…”
“Century Bank Court,” a win–win for everyone as athletic director Vigil said. Century Bank’s Thomas Martinez emphasized that Century Bank has been here for a while, “…we’ve been part of the community for 12 or 13 years and now with the acquisition of Valley National Bank, we are the biggest bank in town. We want to make sure that we have a presence in town and help the community where we can,” he said.
The “mini-Pit” playing floor, now Century Bank Court, is newly refinished and waiting for the “best fans in the state” to return.