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Andre Agassi investing in academic success for UNLV athletes

Updated May 7, 2019 - 12:02 pm

Former tennis star Andre Agassi is making what is described in a news release as “a major financial investment” in his hometown university’s athletic department.

The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education now will work with UNLV and invest in the effort by the athletic department to upgrade its academic support system. Funding from Agassi’s foundation — the amount was not made public — will help move along the creation of the Center for Student-Athlete Excellence inside Lied Athletic Complex.

“This is not something that we do without careful evaluation and scrutiny, but we see a unique chance here with a partner of great integrity in UNLV Athletics,” Agassi said in a statement. “The intersection of athletics and academics, through the Excellence Center, is something that Stefanie (Graf) and I are very passionate about. The results will be tangible and life-changing.”

UNLV announced in September that Boyd Gaming Corp. had pledged $5 million to benefit the men’s basketball and softball programs and to help create the academic center inside Lied.

No announcement has been made on when construction on the center will begin.

“This tremendous gift (from Agassi) will initiate essential improvements to the Lied while accelerating our overall project timeline for the Excellence Center,” UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement. “It will also advance key programs, such as our growing emphasis on nutrition, critical to student-athlete success.”

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Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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