LONDON — If you’ve had the chance to go inside South Laurel High School’s gymnasium the past week or so, you’ve probably noticed the court has received a facelift.

Gone is the black baseline that adorned the playing surface the past few years. Gray is now the dominant color while red and black still make an appearance.

But why gray?

South Laurel athletic director Ryan Nolan explained it best.

“The color gray is our way to honor and remember the Laurel County High School teams before us," he said. "We want to blend it in with the South Laurel colors because we don’t want to lose sight of Laurel County, and that era of basketball. There have been six state titles won at Laurel County High School, and those teams played on this floor. We've also won a state title as South Laurel High School, so basically we wanted to say, yes we have a new court, but we also haven’t forgot those that played and coached in this gym before us. It’s a tie-in to Laurel County High School.

“It’s a complete different look for us,” Nolan added. “It’s probably more of a different look than any where in the state. I haven’t seen a look like this with the color scheme and such. When former Laurel County players and coaches walk into our gym, we want them to know that they are still thought of.”

The changes are pretty obvious — the baseline is now painted red while "South Laurel" and "Cardinals" are written in black on opposite ends of the court. The inside part of the 3-point line is now gray while the remainder of the court has gray slightly mixed in. The Cardinal head at half-court is also outlined in gray.

“It was a collaboration between myself, volleyball coach Mitzi Jones, boys basketball coach Jeff Davis, girls basketball coach Chris Souder, and our principal. We looked at it, and discussed options. Once we did that, we came up with the final plan,” Nolan said. “We started brainstorming with what different colleges were doing, and we came across a court that had a gray floor, and was gray inside the 3-point line. Their color scheme was red, black and gray, and the coaches liked that. We all looked at it, and started from there.

“Basically, we didn’t want it to be what you see with the majority of the courts currently,” Nolan added. “A lot of people have went to the two-color scheme which is a great look, but we didn’t want to be like every other court. We wanted to put our touch on it, and that’s when the discussion kind of went to using the color gray. The colors of course are red, black and gray, but we wanted to also include gray because we wanted to continue to thank the ones that paved the way here. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are.”

The renovation of the gymnasium doesn’t end with the new design and paint job, Nolan confirmed.

“We will also have wall paddings installed that will include seven stars that represent each state championship from Laurel County High School and South Laurel High School combined,” he said. “They will include the years, and those are also remembering those that played and coached on this floor.”

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