written by: Austin Braddock
Faith, community, and winning: these are all traditions that the men’s varsity basketball team hopes to maintain throughout the season and into postseason play. With a current record of 17-6, second overall place in conference, and winning the last 9 out of 10 games, head coach Donnie Bostwick says that he is “very proud of the accomplishments that [his] teams have had so far.” They have faced big challenges like first year back, and learning a new style of basketball. He gives credit to his guys for “letting him push them [to perform better].”
Besides desiring to witness a win, why should people be excited about going to the OKWU men’s basketball games? First, it draws the community together in a major way. People can expect unique events like the “white out,” where everyone wears white to the game. This creates a bond and unity within the student body. Second, coming to the game displays support of the team’s theme for the season, which is “Let your light shine.” We show our light to others by offering a fun and friendly environment to our fans and to the opposing team.
“The crowd will see fast paced games, players who play with heart, and an overall exciting atmosphere,” says Coach Bostwick. It’s exciting to come to the basketball games, and to be a part of a community where letting one’s light shine is an everyday occurrence, from player pregame introductions to the final whistle at the end of the game.
Faith is a big part of the basketball team. The players try to live out their theme of the season. They let their light shine by serving each other, being involved in leading Bible studies around the community, and encouraging each other to continue to walk out their faith. A common sight is to see the basketball players huddled together at the end of chapel services, praying for each other in a circle. It’s beautiful to see them seeking Christ with all their hearts.
As the season winds down with only 8 games left, including four home games, Coach Bostwick reflects on fans being the “sixth man.” The crowd’s energy encourages the five players on the court to play hard even when they are tired, thus earning the nickname “sixth man.” With each game being important, the home crowd advantage is essential for success in the season. Coach Bostwick commented, “The way it’s going to be more fun, is if the [players] see our students excited, cheering them on.” Crowd support supplies the extra push needed to get wins for basketball. Coach Bostwick said it best, “If we are OKWU, then let’s go out there and show them that we are OKWU.”