Basketball junkies are in danger of overload this weekend.
Southeastern’s men take the stage tonight when Union University of Tennessee visits Bloomer Sullivan Arena for a 7:30 tipoff.
The Storm will host Arkansas University-Ft. Smith at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and the wraparound concludes Monday when the SE ladies play a return match against Oklahoma Christian at 5:30.
If that isn’t enough, there’s an extra attraction at 1 p.m. Sunday when the NBADL makes its first appearance in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
The National Basketball Association Developmental League may not be as well known as Major League Baseball’s minor-league system, but it’s the same concept.
It’s made up of players who are one teeny step away from the NBA.
The Texas Legends are the developmental team of the Dallas Mavericks and they will take on the Santa Cruz Warriors. A press release said it could be the first-ever professional basketball game held in Durant.
Shaky memory recalls the Globetrotters playing here long ago against the Washington Generals, but I’m not sure that would be called professional basketball.
The event is sponsored by the Choctaw Casino & Resort and is free to the public. It’s a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and donations will be accepted with all proceeds going to the Foundation.
Southeastern Director of Athletics Keith Baxter said, “This is a great opportunity for fans to see professional basketball in Durant. We’re excited to partner with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Texas Legends to bring this event to our campus and our community.
“The Choctaw Nation has been very generous and supportive of Southeastern through the years and we’re happy to join them in this fundraiser.
“Make-A-Wish is the NCAA Division II charity and this will help our efforts in the athletics department. We are encouraging people to come out and see some (free) pro basketball and help a great cause at the same time.”
The Texas Legends are coached by Eduardo Alonzo Najera Perez, who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. You know him as Eddie Najera (6-8, 240) of the Oklahoma University Sooners and Dallas Mavericks,
Najera is the third coach in the history of the Texas Legends. He follows former NBA Coach of the Year Del Harris and Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lieberman.
If the Legends follow Najera’s style of play, this will not be a non-contact game.
The game is set for 1 p.m. Sunday in Bloomer Sullivan Arena. It’s a chance for local fans to see some outstanding pro basketball players who use games like this as their tickets to the NBA. Couple that with free admission and a great cause like Make-A-Wish and this is an absolute win-win for everybody.
COACH JENN KING’S volleyballers will open Great American Conference tournament play at 5 p.m. Thursday at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.
This is the second-straight tournament appearance for the Storm and this is the second year of the GAC.
SE struggled with youth all season and still edged Henderson State for the eighth seed in the event. It was sort of a booby prize, however, since the Storm will open against the league’s lone unbeaten team.
To win it, you must be in it. Southeastern is in it.
Semifinals are set for Friday with the championship slated for 3 p.m. Saturday. Fans may follow the action at gosoutheastern.com or GreatAmericanConference.com.
Southeastern enters conference play with Megan Kunkle (221) and Emily Gentle (218) leading the way in kills. Madelynne Cera is a runaway leader in assists with 401 and Marina Dias is second with 119.
Taylor Benner tops the squad with 271 digs. Kunkle is next with 215 digs, followed by Gentle with 194, Cera with 159 and Dias with 138.
Kunkle, a 5-9 freshman from Garland, Texas (Rowlett High School) was named the GAC Freshman of the Year.
Gentle was named second-team All-Great American Conference. Kunkle and Cera each received honorable-mention recognition.
Cera, a 5-9 sophomore from Clint, Texas (Eastwood High School), turned in the first triple-double in Southeastern history with 10 kills, 32 assists and 11 digs in a 3-1 win over Ouachita Baptist in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
THE STORM FOOTBALL season ended too soon, but five players received All-Great American Conference recognition.
Travis Kincheloe and Izzy Iziakor were named to the second team. Ryan Shelley, Matt Unger and Eric Walker received honorable-mention honors.
Kincheloe (6-3, 285, senior from Georgetown, Texas) picked up his second All-Conference nod after leading an offensive line that paved the way for a rushing attack that totaled 2,233 yards and had three runners with more than 500 yards each.
Iziakor (5-10, 195, junior safety from Wylie, Texas) led the Storm in tackles with 78 total stops. This is his second-straight All-GAC selection.
Shelley (6-2, 235, senior tight end from Irving, Texas) saw his season tainted by injuries and finished with 15 catches for 180 yards and one touchdown.
Unger (6-2, 300, senior from Irving, Texas) was another of the offensive linemen who cleared the way for an excellent running game.
Walker (5-10, 180, junior cornerback from Pittsburg, Texas) paced the Storm secondary with eight pass breakups.
SOUTHEASTERN MEN tip off a Thursday-Saturday weekend against Union University at 7:30 tonight.
Union is from Jackson, Tennessee. If that sounds familiar, it’s because coach Nick Keith’s Lady Savages made five-consecutive trips to the NAIA basketball National Tournament in Jackson’s Oman Arena.
Union University is comparable to Southeastern with an enrollment of 4,259. The Red and White Bulldogs are in the second year of membership in the Division II Gulf South Conference.
The Bulldogs come to town with a 1-0 record after a season-opening 86-70 win over Central Baptist.
Saturday’s opponent will be the Lions of Arkansas-Ft. Smith. A-Ft. Smith opened with the late game Wednesday at Southwestern,
The size matchup will definitely be interesting with the Lions bringing a 6-9, two 6-8s and a trio at 6-7.
Southeastern’s Travis Timmons (6-1, 170, junior guard from Tucson, Arizona, and Mesa Community College) was named the GAC Player of the Week for his SE and GAC single-game record 16 assists in the Storm’s 124-55 season-opening victory over Dallas Christian.
The 124 points is also a GAC record. Timmons scored 13 points on five of six shooting and collected three steals.
Whole lot of thumping going on at Bloomer Sullivan Arena tonight through Monday night. Come on out and join the crowd.