Lions' Day Two in Hoosierland
Day is chocked full of activities
SAGU begins NCCAA tourney Wednesday
WINONA LAKE, Indiana -- A busy second day itinerary in Northern Indiana for the men’s basketball team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University was filled with activities at the NCCAA’s National Championships.
The location between Fort Wayne and South Bend is filled with rich farmland and over one-hundred small lakes that surround area communities. Known for growing corn and soybeans, this region has scores of resort homes on lakefront properties.
Warsaw, a local town of 15,000, is called the Orthopedic Capital of the World. In 1895, DePuy Manufacturing became the world's first producer of orthopedic appliances, making wire mesh and wooden splints. Another similar company began in 1927, leading to the deserved name.
The tournament will be played in the new Orthopaedic Capital Center, a 2,000 seat facility that bears the name of three local businesses in the field; DePuy, Zimmer and Biomet.
The squad began the morning with a season of praise and worship inside the OCC, which is across the street from the campus at Grace College and Theological Seminary. The tourney’s 14 other other men’s and women’s teams were on hand. “It was a great start of the day,” said SAGU head coach Donnie Bostwick.
What followed was a service project involving SAGU players and coaches at Washington Elementary School. “We worked with a PE Class, a group of Special Education kids, as well as an art class,” Bostwick added. “The guys did a great job and had a good time!”
They encouraged youngsters in the value of reading, while also interacting with them in additional classes.
Coach Bostwick and his staff of Garrett Jones and Reid Brunner led the Lions through a practice inside the OCC.
“We had a thirty-minute shoot-around,” Bostwick explained. “It was basically to allow players to get an idea of the shooting background inside the gym.” Every team had the same opportunity.
“The place is great,” said senior guard Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Waco HS). “They take great care of the place. It’s a smaller version of what you’d expect to see at NCAA Division I schools.”
A festive banquet at the Warsaw Community Church capped off the day’s events.
“It was a positive experience. All of the teams were introduced. Our speaker was in the movie "Hoosiers." "He did a nice job,” added Coach Bostwick, of Steve Hollar.
He played the role of Rade Butcher in the 1986 movie that starred Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper. It was named the best sports movie of all-time by readers of USA Today.
Butcher, who played basketball at DePauw University, resides in Warsaw where he is a dentist.
The Lions returned to their hotel, a quiet, country inn in Syracuse, where they retired to rest up for their first game on Wednesday afternoon.
Southwestern will face #5 seeded The Master’s University at 2:30pm (CST) on March 14. The Mustangs, who have a 19-14 won-lost record, are from Santa Clarita, California, a north-eastern suburb of Los Angeles.
SAGU (25-10) is the #4 seed. Should they get past Master's, they will meet the winner of the #1 versus #8 match-up, which pits Cedarville University (Oh) and Truett-McConnell (Ga).
Southwestern needs to win three games over four days to claim the crown of the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Dallas Baptist University, the defending champions, are the #3 seed.
The Lions will head the gym after breakfast. Following a team meeting and lunch, they will rest at the hotel. The team's charter bus will make the twenty minute trek from Syracuse to Winona Lake, arriving an hour prior to game time.
All tournament games are accessible for fans on-line via livestreaming. Game Plan Sports Network (GPSN) is providing the livestream at http://www.gpsnonline.com/watch-live/
or at 469-658-2847.