The Utah Valley University men’s basketball team held an open try-out for all interested full-time students on Wednesday, Sept. 4 in the NUVI Basketball Center.
The opportunity to be a student-athlete doesn’t happen everyday. When it does, it’s an honor to be able to put on the uniform and represent your school under the lights or on the field. UVU students were given that opportunity. Those looking to wear the coveted green and white jerseys had to pass a physical and of course prove their talent to head coach Mark Madsen and his new staff.
A dozen or so hopeful UVU ballers answered Madsen’s call, which he voiced via his Twitter page. “Sometimes a player just needs a chance,” said Madsen.
Madsen and his coaching staff worked diligently all summer to recruit a promising roster in the wake of several off-season transfers. Reigning WAC player of the year Jake Toolson, WAC freshman of the year Wyatt Lowell and dominant big men Richard Harward and Baylee Steele are just a few notable transfers. Three of those four followed former head coach Mark Pope to cross-town rival Brigham Young University.
Compared to last season, the Wolverines lost four key roles due to transfers. Three additional players graduated, leaving a total of nine potential roster spots. Two players on the current roster, junior guard Isaiah White and senior guard TJ Washington, are the only remaining guys to have seen minutes in a UVU jersey. With that being said, the roster currently holds 15 talented players who are ready to play some basketball.
“We’re looking at between one and three guys depending on the fit, we’re looking for shooting, we’re looking for physical overall fundamental players,” said Madsen. “As a walk on you need to be able to play multiple positions, but we’re really looking at best available players.”
These potential walk-ons will dedicate their time and effort over the next few months. As they learn the program that Madsen is working to establish, and prepare themselves to be student-athletes.
“It’s a really great time right now to bring these guys together and to let them learn each others games,” said Madsen.
The Wolverines will start the season by suiting up in an exhibition game. The game will take place on Nov. 1 as they play the Coyotes of the College of Idaho.
Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics