April 02, 2009

Extramural basketball team vies for national title

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- With a hard-fought 51-48 win over Ferris State University at the regional tournament, the men’s extramural basketball team from Southern Illinois University Carbondale secured a berth at the national basketball championship -- the National Campus Championship Series for extramural sports, that is.

The National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association event opens today, April 2, and runs through Sunday, April 5 in Detroit. Yes, Detroit is simultaneously welcoming the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Final Four this weekend.

SIUC won its first trip to the NCCS nationals by claiming the Western Michigan University regional basketball tournament title earlier this year in Kalamazoo. Twelve extramural teams from nine universities competed at the Western Michigan site, while other regionals took place around the country. The winning SIUC team is one of many teams for all kinds of sports from the University’s Recreational Sports and Services.

“I was just so excited when I heard our team had won the Western Michigan Regional Tournament. My wife thought I was crazy when I was acting as thought it was the NCAA Final Four,” said Shane M. Bennett, assistant director of intramural sports and sport clubs for Recreational Sports and Services (RSS) and coach of the winning team.

“But these guys deserve their successes,” Bennett added. “The team felt disappointment losing last year to Ohio State at the Illinois State Basketball Tournament at DePaul University so they went to Kalamazoo on a mission, a mission they succeeded at!”

Two SIUC players also earned spots on the men’s division all-tournament team. Derrick Evans was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Cergio Brown joined him on the five-man all-tournament team.

Competing against the SIUC team at the Cobo Convention Center will be University of Arizona, University of Delaware, University of Georgia, University of Missouri, University of Texas at San Antonio, Villanova University and Washington State University. The tourney games actually start at 9 a.m. Friday, April 3. The CBS College Sports Network plans to air the championship game at 7 p.m. central time Sunday, April 5.

The SIUC extramural sports national team roster, listed by hometown with year and major, includes:


Arlington Heights

• Derrick Evans, senior, history.


• Christopher Browder, senior, marketing.

• Cergio Brown, senior, electronic systems technologies.

• Dennis Hawkins, junior, undecided liberal arts.

• Bryant Hughes, graduate student, education administration.

• Shane McCoy, senior, interpersonal speech.

• Morgan McDonald, senior, recreation.

• Harvey Word, junior, marketing.


St. Louis

• Patrick Colvin, junior, speech communication

• Edward Wallace, junior, art.