Former University of Arizona basketball player Steve Kerr and his wife, Margot, pledged $1 million to the school on Tuesday, as part of the Arizona NOW campaign by the school.
The Kerrs’ donation will directly assist with the McKale Memorial Center renovation and academic facility enhancements for the athletic department. The donation to the McKale center will impact all 20 of Arizona’s sports programs and will greatly benefit the programs that use the arena for competition, such as the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
“My experience as a student-athlete at the U of A shaped my life and my entire career,” said Kerr in a statement. “This gift reflects my thanks and also my support for the future student-athletes who will come to Arizona to compete, study and shape their own lives moving forward.”
Kerr played four seasons for the Wildcats, where he set an NCAA single season record when he shot .573 from three-point rage in the 1987-88 season. Kerr earned 2nd-team All-American honors that season, while playing a crucial part in the Wildcats first team to make a Final Four appearance.
“We are really excited that Steve and Margot have decided to show this kind of support for Arizona Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Greg Byrne. “Steve is one of the icons of our athletics department and he has been such a great ambassador for this program throughout his professional career. We know McKale is a special place to him and his family and we’re thrilled that they could be involved in this renovation.”
The Kerrs’ donation will directly influence Phase I of the McKale Center’s renovation, which began in May. This phase will target improvements to seating, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a new playing surface, along with various other enhancements throughout the arena.
Arizona men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller extended his own appreciation for the Kerrs’ donation in a statement, praising their continued assistance of the program.
“Steve’s basketball career is extraordinary on so many levels,” said Miller. “However, his qualities as a person and the qualities of his family are equally exemplary. Today’s gift epitomizes the reasons that we take so much pride in referring to Arizona basketball as ‘A Player’s Program.'”
Renovations to the McKale Center are expected to be finished before the men’s basketball season starts on Nov. 14, when the Wildcats host Mount St. Mary’s.