All work and all play for UW-W Men’s Club Basketball

Brayden Lantta, Staff Reporter

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Athletics is often synonymous with the college experience for many students. Some aspire to join the varsity college team ranks. But some also play for fun, as a hobby, and a way to make new friends.

The UW-W Men’s Basketball Club team is one of those student athletic organizations. The club has been around for one and a half years and has been steadily gaining participants via its social media presence, involvement fair exhibits, and simple word of mouth. Students are actively looking for organizations like this to get involved with.

Many students who have joined the organization began with intramurals or pickup games. Through talking with their peers, the popularity of it continues to grow. As the popularity increases, opportunities for bigger games against other schools like Iowa State will make their way into the schedule.

This semester, the club has 14 games on the schedule. The club saw between eight and ten games its first semester, and it projects the possibility of between 15 and 18 games in the spring 2020 semester. The club is hopeful that the prospect of more games, and more opportunities to play will attract even more players.

The club recently entered the Great Lakes-North conference. The conference comprises seven teams, and the UW-W team began its conference play on Saturday, November 16, for a chance at a conference ranking. This semester, the team has 15 active players on its roster.

The Men’s Basketball Club Vice President, Rasheed Goodman is in his second year with the organization. He joined the first year as a player, but this year he decided he wanted to take on a larger role with the club. Aspiring to be a general manager of a major NBA franchise one day, Rasheed sees his vice president role as a great stepping stone towards his goals.

“I joined the club team because coming out of high school, I played varsity basketball all four years. Even before that, I was playing basketball since the first grade, so it has become a lifestyle for me. The club team gave me the route of playing competitive basketball without the rigorous time commitment,” said Rasheed.

The club recently joined the National Club Basketball Association (NCBBA) for the first time this year. While the games may not be varsity level, the players and coaches see them as equal to a junior varsity level. The atmosphere of games is competitive, but maintains the feeling of a local park game among friends. Nevertheless, teams compete within their conference for conference titles. This boosts comradery, and morale.

“I simply wanted to give the club a chance to compete for a national championship. We were tired of just playing exhibitions and tournaments. We want to compete at the highest level to show why we are the best club basketball team in the nation,” said President Maxwell Dodd.

Dodd was the founder of the organization and has been involved every step of the way for three years. The club faced challenges early on in getting traction. It took Dodd a year and a half to really get the club off the ground. It serves as an organizations beyond just intramurals and enables its members who love the sport of basketball to play at a higher level.

Dodd also aspires to be an athletic director and his passion is what drives the organizations to new opportunities and growth. The club is nationally recognized and Dodd says he has faith that when he graduates from Whitewater in 2020, that the new directors and leadership will help the club continue to grow.