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Ice-Ketball

Did you ever wonder what former Clinton Administration cabinet officials do once they leave office? Many go on the lecture circuit and charge outrageous honoraria for their insights.

Take former Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary, a recent featured speaker at a technology forum at the University of Virginia’s Engineering School, where she discussed the future of the energy stream.

For decades, University of Virginia basketball has played its home games in an arena called University Hall (note the lack of a corporate sponsor), a dinosaur that serves as an inadvertent tribute to 1960s U.Va. basketball—no sky boxes, plush fat-cat seats, or winning seasons.

But this summer, the possibility of a collapse of U-Hall’s roof encouraged University administrators to start considering a replacement.

Hazel O’Leary came to town to propose a venue that would be the largest solar-powered sports facility in the United States. She said it would serve as a laboratory for the study of renewable energy and the great possibilities of a fossil fuel–free energy future. (Silly us, we thought that basketball was apolitical.)

College basketball tends to be played at night and in the winter, two periods when the sun is notoriously absent. Further, for its latitude, there’s only one place on the planet (at similar elevation) that has as much snow as Charlottesville—northeast China.

But if you build it, they will come.

The U.Va. O’Leary Sun Centre will serve as a lasting tribute to the energy policies of the Clinton Administration—and it no doubt will be the finest hockey rink in Central Virginia.