Heated hoops

0 comments, Monday, November 12th, 2012, by Kevin Olsen, in Sports
I ran off the field crying the first time I tried playing soccer at age seven. I was never able to hit the baseball once I graduated from t-ball, and I have always been too skinny to even warm the bench in football. But basketball … well, I was never the go-to guy but I kept playing, at least through junior high.

Despite discontinuing any organized basketball on my part, I never stopped watching it. My dad helped me learn why John Stockton and Karl Malone were so talked-about and why Michael Jordan will always be remembered as a basketball legend.

Speaking of Michael Jordan, I just returned from an unforgettable trip to Chicago where I was able to attend a Bulls game. It’s been years since Jordan played in Chicago, but it was remarkable to see where he rose to the legend he is today.

The game also helped me get back into the basketball spirit. I can’t give all the credit to Chicago, however. The feature we have this week on the women’s basketball team and the Meet the Team night for the UVU men’s basketball team need the recognition, as well.

A bit of disappointment comes for me when leaves change, the temperatures drops outside and it gets dark by 5 p.m. I have stories to write, homework to do and my girlfriend lives in Logan, but basketball is officially here. I could write on and on about how the Utah Jazz are looking to be the best team-orientated Jazz I have seen in years, but I’ll focus on UVU.

It’s an exciting season that Wolverine fans are about to face. The women’s basketball team is returning Sammie Jensen, who averaged slightly more than 13 points per game last season and was the 2011-2012 Great West Player of the Year. Head coach Cathy Nixon is back for her 18th season as head coach and she is adding another assistant coach. Abbie Beutler will be an assistant coach for the team following her successful senior year at the point guard position last year.

The men’s basketball team is returning guard Holton Hunsaker along with big man Ben Aird at the center position. The collaboration of the two along with a few other returning players will help to make a season worth watching. Head coach Dick Hunsaker will lead the team against some tough competition in the PAC-12 along with a nationally televised home game against in-state rival Utah State.

I’m excited to see how both of UVU’s basketball teams succeed in their last year with the Great West Conference, a conference that helped us grow and give the athletics the confidence they needed to join the WAC.

As I continue to be bitter about a girlfriend who lives too far and the temperatures that are too low outside, I will spend my time in the UCCU Center watching our teams bring the heat.

Kevin Olsen writes a sports column at Utah Valley University and can be reached at (801) 471-8895 or kvncups12@gmail.com

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