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Paul Quinn College may be the best when it comes to basketball court design.
Michael Sorrell, president of the school, is certain to agree.
"Our court is the best basketball court in America. Sorrell stated that anyone can play with us in a home and home series to earn bragging rights.
Paul Quinn, an historically Black college in Dallas unveiled its new design Tuesday. It has a black, purple and silver color scheme with the school's purple-and yellow tiger logo on the court.
As a nod towards the school's motto, "We over me" is written alongside both free throw lines.
Beautiful imagery from the midcourt provides a poignant lesson in history.
The black-and white image of Dallas' skyline is real and was taken between 1919-1920. Sorrell explained that the school chose this photo because it was during Jim Crow times, when Black people couldn’t freely walk through downtown Dallas.
This is the new court design of Paul Quinn University in Dallas, Texas. Roberto Hernandez
Sorrell stated that he hopes to use the photo on the court to encourage conversations and educate people about race relations, and the history and legacy of racism in Texas and America.
Sorrell stated that "this rebirth in public racism is an issue." We needed the court (the court) for multiple messages. This is not just about Paul Quinn. Everything we do is a larger statement. The arena will be a historical lesson. It will be an educational moment.
This is just the beginning of historical education. Sorrell stated that more images relating to Black history would eventually be displayed throughout the center's corridors.
Ryan Parker, FreeThreeKey's designer, worked closely with Sorrell on the court design. Parker had previously done graphics for the school and Sorrell was impressed enough to ask Parker to do this job. They tried many different designs before they settled on this one. Sorrell was certain that this was the right design when it came to fruition.
Sorrell stated, "The lightbulb went out... This was hot... This is everything."
This sentiment was echoed by Erica Anderson, women's basketball coach at Paul Quinn, and Brandon Espinosa, men's basketball coach at Paul Quinn.
"We were all stunned when we first saw the court. Espinosa stated that it was a truly special moment for the team.
"I love the court!" Anderson stated that the design and concept of the court are "on a whole new level."
Another shot of Paul Quinn’s new basketball court, which features the Dallas skyline. This was taken circa 1920 Roberto Hernandez
Paul Quinn's hoops team is in the Red River Conference -- both men's and ladies' teams start their regular season in November.
Sorrell stated that he hopes that the new court will assist the college's "ascension" to become an even more influential part of the community. It will also attract some of the most talented talent in the country to play for it.
"I've received hundreds of emails, texts, and DMs since the court unveiling inquiring about our program. Espinosa stated that it is an extraordinary time to be at Paul Quinn College.
Students, athletes, and faculty have been talking about the new design. They are now curious about the history and significance of the image.
People are now asking about PQC every day since the unveiling. Anderson stated that while the design is exciting for student-athletes, Anderson believes the history makes them curious enough to make a difference.