Nearly 200 BYU-Idaho students escaped the frigid cold this past week as tryouts for the 2024 competitive basketball season began in the BYU-Idaho Center.

Last Tuesday marked the first of three nights in the evaluation process for these hopeful athletes as they competed to make one of the 10 men’s teams before the season commenced on Jan. 24.

Each night, the number of available spots decreases as the team rosters gradually become full. As opportunities decrease, the tension and competitive fire reach a new level. All of this culminates in the final decisions made late on the last night of tryouts.

Competitive tryout registration.

Competitive tryout registration. Photo credit: Rhett Vasseur

Branden Cordova, an 18-year-old freshman, is embarking on his first competitive season at BYU-Idaho, aiming to make an impact.

Cordova recognizes how hard it is to win a championship but is convinced he has the skills to do so.

“I think it’s just the mentality I grew up with; basketball is all about making the smartest decision out there on that court. That is really what makes someone great and I believe I have that,” Cordova said just days after locking down his roster spot with the Bruins.

Amidst the crossovers and rim-rattling dunks, coaches from each team observed intently, hoping to find their next star. Each with the same goal: to assemble a team talented enough to win a championship in late March.

Branden Cordova following his 2023 Idaho district championship.

Branden Cordova following his 2023 Idaho district championship. Photo credit: Branden Cordova

When asked what fans can expect to see this season, Cordova expressed his thoughts:

“We are going to put on a show for you guys, man.”

Basketball fans can see the ever-confident Cordova and his Bruins squad, along with all of the other teams, in action right here on campus starting this week in the BYU-Idaho Center.

The scheduled action began on Wednesday and will continue throughout the semester.

Games can also be streamed over the BYUI Sports YouTube channel.

For more information on times and locations, visit the BYUI Game Day website or follow BYUI Sports on Instagram for updates.