Lions arrive in Kansas City
Departure from campus on SAGU Sports Live
Team practices at 9am Tuesday; play at 9am Wednesday
KANSAS CITY, Missouri -- A smooth 583-mile trek from campus to their downtown hotel was completed safely by the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team on Monday evening.
The Lions are in town as one of 32 teams vying for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship over the next week (March 13-19).
It is fitting that the NAIA plays this tourney in a city known for its Civil War history as well as for its long-time connection with jazz, blues and barbecue cuisine.
SAGU hopes to sing their share of victory tunes after winning basketball battles while contending for a first-ever NAIA title.
A spirited send-off was enjoyed by the team and fans earlier this morning.
The SAGU Sports Live fan page on Facebook has posted a three-minute video clip of the events that led to the team’s departure.
Vice President for Student Services, Terry Phipps, and Athletic Director Jesse Godding led the proceedings before Dr. Larry Goodrich, Southwestern’s Athletic Faculty Representative, directed a special prayer for the team.
The Ellis County Sheriff provided escort from the Sheaffer Center to the edge of Red Oak aong I-35.
During the team’s trip north through Oklahoma, players enjoyed reading six posters signed by students in various dorms as well as munching from Goody Bags packed for them by campus supporters.
The team enjoyed a late lunch (Ryan’s) in Joplin, Missouri before a special surprise destination on the southside of KC.
Head Coach Donnie Bostwick, along with the team chaplain, Rev. David Leatherberry, and his wife, Julie, brought the group inside the International House of Prayer. The church is known for its 24-7 worship and prayer, led by young adults.
As the team participated in the service, they met other SAGU students who were spending their Spring Break at IHOP-KC.
Following dinner the team checked into the NAIA’s tournament downtown headquarters at the Crowne Plaza. Numerous teams which the Lions are familiar, including St. Thomas and Westmont College (Calif), had already arrived.
Coach Bostwick shared instructions with the team, who then retired early in anticipation of a full day on Tuesday.
The Lions will start the morning with breakfast and then make a short trip to the Municipal Auditorium (capacity 10,500) for a 9:00am practice.
Wednesday morning SAGU plays in the first game of the tournament, also at 9:00am, against the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma.
Should the Purple & Gold earn a victory in the opening round, they will advance to another 9:00am (CST) game on Friday against the winner between Westmont –vs- Martin Methodist College (Tenn).
Oglesby chosen as SAGU's Champion of Character
Tuesday will also have various meetings and dinners scheduled from noon through the evening by the NAIA.
One of them will recognize athletes who were chosen by their schools as their Champion of Character.
Coach Bostwick announced on Monday morning that 6’4 junior forward Maurice “Mo” Oglesby (Arlington, Tx / Zion Academy) has been honored as SAGU’s winner of the award, which brings with it a $2,000 scholarship.
A preview of Wednesday’s game will be posted on-line Tuesday night.
Fans can watch live video-streaming of games for roughly $10 per game. For details on accessing the broadcasts, visit www.naia.org.
The NAIA website also has information about tickets for fans planning to attend.
Kansas City is also hosting the Big 12 Conference Tournament at the Sprint Center, March 13-16.