For the first time, BYU-Idaho students are able to participate in a men’s basketball club team this upcoming winter.
Steve Craig, a senior studying construction management, and Kade Wood, a junior studying recreation management, will coach the team.
Wood said he has coached basketball for two years now, as well as other sports.
“The idea for this team was brought to me about two years ago,” Wood said. “I honestly didn’t see myself having the time to get it started at that time, but knew that Steve Craig would have the time and desire to get it done.”
Wood said the team is made up almost entirely of students attending BYU-I. He said he wants to make sure people know the team is not affiliated with the school in any way.
“However, we hope to indirectly represent the student body,” Wood said.
Nathan Davies, a senior studying biology, is one of 12 players on the team.
“I’m really excited,” Davies said. “I think we have a really talented team that will be very successful. We have a lot of talent and experience on our team. I’ve been really impressed with our coaches so far — they work really hard — they’re knowledgeable and command a lot of respect from all of the team.”
Davies said he has played basketball since elementary school.
“I remember starting to play basketball during recess while I was in fourth grade and haven’t stopped since,” Davies said.
The travel team has eight games scheduled, including one against the Junior College powerhouse at The College of Southern Idaho. CSI won the Men’s Basketball Junior College National Championship in 2011, according to the CSI sports webpage.
Davies said the team will travel together to each of the games by bus, and, thanks to a couple local businesses and Vantage Marketing, a majority of the expenses are covered through sponsorships to help make the team possible for the students.
Wood said he did not originally expect there to be a lot of interest in forming a club team or for there to be a large number of players that could compete with other schools.
“The team looks much deeper than I had anticipated, and I believe we can stack up evenly and be very competitive winning some of our games,” Wood said.
Wood said having a deep team, or being deep in the bench, means having a large number of very talented players.
The team can be followed on its official Twitter @RexburgUnited.