By K.J. Wylie/GCU Staff
After completing their inaugural season last year, head coach Jeremy Basham and team captain Tyler Weeks are spending their offseason preparing to lead the GCU men’s club basketball team into a highly-anticipated second year.
Only this time they’ll be competing in a new league that consists of a new level of competition.
Last season, the Lopes belonged to the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) where they finished 11th in the nation. This year, however, the club team will be battling in the National Club Basketball Association (NCBBA) and will face top junior colleges; coach Basham couldn’t be more excited.
“[The] first year we took baby steps to figure everything out and how everything works, and this year we know exactly how things work and can attack in a much better way,” said Basham.
The NCBBA is a 78-team league with most of the participating schools located in the Midwest region. Last year, Purdue University was crowned the champion and they are exactly who the Lopes expect to dethrone.
When asked about switching league and scheduling against high level junior colleges, Basham’s answer and intentions were clear.
“We’re always looking for the best competition,” said Basham. “We want to play the best teams possible. Playing against top junior colleges will have us better prepared for other club teams around the nation.”
As for Weeks, the transition from being in a new program that was still building its foundation to having national championship aspirations described it as motivation.
“I’ve been putting in work and making sure these other guys are getting their workouts in to make sure we’re ready,” said Weeks. “Last year was nice, but losing to UNC really opened my eyes to the level of competition and showed me how much harder I could work as a player and a coach.”
Playing against tougher opponents all season long will become second nature for the club basketball team and Tyler has no intentions on shying away from the challenge. When asked about the types of teams he’ll be facing, the Arizona native expressed his love for the opportunity.
“I had a couple offers from community colleges and when I came [to GCU] I didn’t expect to be playing competitive basketball again,” said Weeks. “So to be able to play community colleges and other high level competition is awesome- I love it.”
Tyler Weeks’ level of dedication and passion to not only the team but the sport of basketball itself is exactly what coach Basham is searching for in a captain who can help create the culture he envisions for his program.
“I want the students to embrace having a good work ethic and build a family atmosphere with each other,” said Basham. “They will all be lifelong friends.”
Last year, the main focal points were building chemistry and team camaraderie, but now the GCU club basketball leaders in Basham and Weeks expect to win it all.