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The Antelope

Athletics installs four-sided, interactive video boards

ZAHIRA LOPEZ / ANTELOPE STAFF The new video boards will debut on April 26 in an event open to the public. The first official event they will be used for is graduation on May 13.

UNK started construction in March to install Planar video boards into the Health & Sports Center. The boards are expected to be completed by the end of the week with a ceremony to celebrate the corporate sponsor that funded the project on April 26, which will be open to the public. 

“It’s gonna be the nicest screens in the area,” said Jeff Babl, the video production coordinator for UNK athletics and the head of Lopervision. “For Kearney’s size and the midwest region of universities, it’s gonna be state of the art.”

The video boards will be featured at volleyball, basketball and wrestling events. The four-sided board of the court will display video and the score while the corner screens will primarily display statistics.

“We already have great facilities and now adding that makes it even better,” said UNK point guard David Simental. “It brings a lot of excitement to the games and we’re just really grateful for it.”

The software used, Scorevision, is headquartered out of Omaha and used at high schools around the state. It will be installed on the scoreboards on April 18-22. One of the goals of the new boards is to provide an environment for students to learn.

“We’re hoping it might inspire high school students to get more involved with UNK,” said athletic director, Marc Bauer. “We’ve got some students that we had been working with at the high school that are coming to UNK next year. Hopefully we can get them to continue to help us.”

UNK will use three student-run cameras and a replay system to capture the action to put on the screens as well as statistics that will be useful for the fans in attendance.

This new video board system is an update from the previous Daktronics boards that were in the arena which were out-of-date, unfixable and had low resolution. Many people in the UNK community have been wanting this change for a long time.

“Paul Younes came up with the idea of doing a center hang because so many colleges in Nebraska don’t have them,” Bauer said. “Everybody’s got scoreboards on their walls and Paul just suggested doing something unique that sets us apart from those other schools.”

The interactive video boards will enhance the student-athlete experience, help with recruiting for athletics as well as academics and create a unique fan experience for UNK’s fans. 

“It will allow us to kind of be on the same level as so many other unique programs in the MIAA,” said UNK women’s basketball head coach Carrie Eighmey. “I definitely think it’s helpful and advantageous for both the recruiting process and the gameday experience.”

The first event the video boards will be used for is graduation on May 13. 

“I don’t think there will be a seat in the house where you can’t see what’s going on,” Bauer said. “Hands down, I think we have the nicest arena in the nation for Division II and this just enhances that.”

Audio from this week’s Loper Update feature on 91.1 KLPR student radio station
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