AIC to Name Renovated Basketball Locker Room in Honor of Frank Oppedisano
SPRINGFIELD — The American International College (AIC) men’s basketball locker room will enjoy a much-needed makeover with help from friends in the community.
Earlier this year, a group of alumni expressed an interest in doing something meaningful to help AIC men’s basketball in memory of their friend and former teammate, Frank Oppedisano, class of 1967. In addition to their fundraising effort, AIC Athletics engaged alumni and supporters during Athletics Giving Week last month. Donors were asked to consider giving to a general fund or team of their choice, with proceeds from the campaign earmarked to benefit student-athletes and athletic programs at the college.
Head Men’s Basketball Coach Andy Burkholder knew exactly where funds raised for men’s basketball could best be utilized.
“If you have ever been part of a team, you know that the wins are great, and the losses hurt,” he said. “The things you remember most are the times spent with teammates in the dorms, at the dining commons, and in the locker room. For more than 15 years, our team has had the same locker room. Athletics Giving Week success for men’s basketball will not only give our student-athletes much needed equipment and gear to represent AIC while they are on the road, but — in conjunction with funds set aside by friends of Frank — it will provide them with a destination of their own when they are home: a place of pride on campus where they can hang out and build important bonds.”
The new locker room will offer additional locker space, new flooring, and Yellow Jacket branding throughout, and will be named in honor of the Springfield native who was a four-year member of the basketball program. Before his passing in March 2020, Oppedisano was a regular at AIC men’s basketball home games and routinely provided congratulations after a win or unconditional support in defeat.
“Frank was truly proud to be a Yellow Jacket and was clearly invested in the success of student-athletes,” Burkholder said. “The new locker room named in his memory will be a place to build memories.”
Due to current health and safety regulations, the official dedication of the Oppedisano Locker Room will take place at a future date when the community can be invited to participate.