Hailed as one of the finest collegiate venues for spectator
involvement and enthusiasm, the Reilly Center has provided the
Bonnies with a tremendous home court advantage.
The Reilly Center is the home of St. Bonaventure men's and women's basketball throughout the season, while it's also used as a multi-purpose facility for numerous University and community functions.
Since its doors opened in 1966, the Reilly Center has served as the focal point for the St. Bonaventure spirit. It's the "place to be" on game nights, not only for the campus community but throughout the region. Students regularly stand in line for hours prior to tip-off in order to gain the best courtside seats on the floor. Season ticket holders pass on their seats through generations. Bonnies fans are just as passionate as they are loyal and they pack the Reilly Center to cheer their beloved Brown and White.
College basketball experts and coaches throughout the country have departed the Reilly Center with appreciation for its character and atmosphere. ESPN's Jay Bilas ranked the Reilly Center as one of his "Top 5 Hostile Homes" in 2001.
In the summer of 2007, a brand new state-of-the-art wood floor was installed and officially named "Bob Lanier Court" in honor of the former Bona and NBA legend. In addition to the new playing surface, improvements were made to the Reilly Center's sound system, scoreboards and basketball goals.
The new court was made possible thanks to the generosity of a group of alumni, spearheaded by a $200,000 gift from Lisa and Samuel Molinaro, Bonaventure alumni from the classes of 1981 and 1980, respectively. Barb '81 and Tom Fleming '80 also made a $50,000 donation to the project.
The St. Bonaventure Athletic Hall of Fame opened at the south end of the RC in December of 1998. The 4,200-square foot addition features theater-style seating, display areas for plaques, awards, trophies and uniforms.
Despite all of the changes and upgrades to the facility, the atmosphere and enthusiasm for Bona basketball on game days has not changed as it has proved to be loud and overwhelming for visiting opponents.
The men's basketball team opened the Reilly Center on December 2, 1966 with a victory over Quincy College for the RC's first win. In the 1997-98 campaign, the Bonnies tallied their 300th triumph at home against Big 4 rival Canisius. Entering the 2008-09 season, the men have posted an overall home record of 372-169 for a .688 winning percentage during the 42 years of its existence, including nine victories over nationally ranked clubs.
The St. Bonaventure women recorded an 8-3 mark on Bob Lanier Court this past season, including the program's second ever victory over a nationally ranked opponent with a 63-60 win over #14/13 George Washington.
Originally named the University Center, the building was dedicated in memory of Carroll "Mike" Reilly '25 on June 1, 1974. Reilly was a Bona student-athlete, faculty member, football-basketball coach and athletic director. He also is a member of the St. Bonaventure Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Reilly Center has many purposes other than simply a basketball facility as it is the social hub of campus. Concerts, educational conferences, workshops and assorted performances are all held in the RC as are University commencement ceremonies.