College Spotlight: Saying Goodbye to "The Lilly" - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

College Spotlight: Saying Goodbye to "The Lilly"

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Glenville State played it's final regular season game in the Jesse R. Lilly gymnasium Saturday. The historic facility on the third floor of the Physical Education building has seen a lot of great basketball in it's 63 years.

The "Lilly" as it's known has been a crucial part of Pioneers Nation. Its named after Jesse Lilly, a former Pioneer head coach of 20 years and it's hosted plenty of great memories.

"When I was a freshman, the girl that played in front of me got into foul trouble. So I got to play a lot. I made a foul shot, I made one, missed one, but someone stepped into the lane so I shot again and made it," said Glenville State's Athletic Director Janet Bailey. "They carried me off the floor and I don't think I ever shot that well again."

The Lilly is a quaint, cozy facility. One that has been awfully intimidating over the years.

From January 16th, 1999 to December 1st, 2004 the Lady Pioneers won 64-striaght games at home. The 10th longest streak in college ball, and over the years the gym has seen the women's program become one of the most fruitful in division-II.

"I've been here for awhile, and I've had great memories here," said Glenville senior Kenyell Goodson. "I guess I have to start my life sometime. Graduating is bitter sweet, and knowing I'm the last one to play in here is bitter sweet."

For some the Lilly has meant much more than just wins and losses. Bill Lilly grew up in it.

"The hoop right behind you, that's where I learned to play," said Lilly. "I was allowed to have one key, dad's key. He let me come out here and turn on one bank of lights, there were two light above this hoop. This was the hoop we'd come up and shoot on when no one was around."

Now an assistant coach, he'll always cherish his memories, Glenville State and these four-walls.

"Dad was here for what, 30 years himself," he said. "I was gone for awhile but they saved me from the unemployment line and helped me make a living. But it's also been a place to grow up, learn to compete and kick guys in the shins or whatever. But this is where life basically took place now."

Glenville State will move into the new $30-million WACO Center in April.

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