For 24 years Aggie sports fans had the opportunity to see many thrilling moments and championship games on the court inside the Pan American Center.
Now fans can own a piece of New Mexico State University’s Lou Henson Court following an exclusive agreement with local Las Cruces company, Triple D Woodworks, to handcraft 1,000 limited edition pens.
In 2002, the court was officially dedicated to Henson, who holds the record for most wins in NMSU men’s basketball history. He has also been inducted into several basketball Hall of Fames around the country.
From 2006 to 2007, the Pan American Center underwent a remodel, which included replacing the court. Wanda Bowman, owner of the Las Cruces Ashley Furniture Homestore and a friend of Henson and his wife, Mary, acquired the court at an auction in 2017.
Bowman hired Triple D Woodworks to create her Christmas gifts in 2018. The woodworking company is owned and operated by Dennis Dickey. He and his wife, Donna, began turning handcrafted pens in 2006 and have since produced an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 writing instruments.
“Before Christmas of 2018, we created some special pens that had a U.S. flag theme for Wanda Bowman,” said Dickey. “When we delivered those pens, we started discussing trying to make pens out of the NMSU Lou Henson Court wood.”
As of 2019, the Lou Henson pen project is officially under way with more than 100 of the 1,000 pens already crafted and available for sale. A portion of the profits from the pens will return to the NMSU men’s basketball team via the 6th Man Club.
The 6th Man Club has more than 200 members and is overseen completely by volunteer efforts, according to NMSU alumna Shari Jones.
All of the funds raised by the club are used to support the men’s basketball program by supplementing the operating budget in the areas of recruiting, travel, academic support, summer school and nutrition.
“I purchased two numbered pens when I first met with Mr. Dickey,” said Jones. “One to commemorate my undergraduate year and the other was the number 70 representing the year that NMSU participated in the Final Four. I gave that pen as a gift to coach Henson and his wife, Mary.”
The rollerball pens are sold for $129.95 and each one is laser engraved with the words NMSU Lou Henson Court and includes a certificate of authenticity, a serial number and a gift box with the first refill.
Author: Faith Schifani – NMSU