Viking Basketball Season Begins

North Park University Vikings Men's Basketball

CHICAGO (November 9, 2009) – Although the North Park men’s basketball team has only two returning seniors and a handful of juniors, Coach Paul Brenegan says the team has the depth and experience to be competitive in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin this year.

“We played so many of our freshman last year, and this is a much more experienced team than it looks like on paper,” says Brenegan. “We return a second-team, all-conference performer in senior Nick Williams, who we feel has the potential to be one of the best players in the league this season.”

Sophomore Roshawn Russell and junior Phil Schniedermeier are the team captains. All of the returners made big improvements over the offseason, and their work has led to strong practices, Brenegan says. “Add our incoming freshmen and two transfers to the mix, and we have quite a few combinations of players that could see significant minutes.”

The Vikings also pose a strong scoring threat this year, as they look to up the tempo of their play. The team has emphasized improving its defense, which was a weakness last season.

“We have the personnel and athleticism to be a great defensive team, and I expect us to improve drastically on the defensive end this year,” Brenegan notes. “Every year we want to compete for the CCIW championship, and I feel that this season can definitely be a big step forward for our program in terms of achieving that goal.”

The Vikings open their season November 15 in an away contest at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. They will take on Carroll University in their home opener on November 18.

The women’s basketball team is counting on their quickness and hustle, along with a combination of depth and young energy to be successful, says second-year coach, Amanda Reese. She expects the Vikings will be able to push the ball upcourt and adds, “We have several players who can create their own shot and provide scoring opportunities for teammates.”

Ten new players will complement the solid abilities of senior Larisa Coldebella, and sophomores Danielle Bradley, Hilary Kuhl, and Whitney Turner. “We have a solid core of returners who worked hard and showed commitment in the offseason,” Reese says.

The women open at home against Benedictine November 15.