The Newman University men’s basketball team went head-to-head with Wichita State University on Monday, Nov. 6, in an exhibition game to raise money for hurricane relief.
Proceeds from the game went to the American Red Cross to benefit recent hurricane victims.
Newman Head Men's Basketball Coach R.J. Allen said the game was not just about the competition, but about helping others.
“It was a great event to be a part of, with it being a charity event,” said Allen. “We talked prior to the game about how lucky we are to be a part of something like this. That was the ultimate positive — being able to help others.”
As for the game, Allen said they went into it with the same winning mindset they would approach any other game.
“How we go about our business, if we don’t feel like we can win, we’re not going to show up,” Allen explained. “We were there to win. That was the approach and mindset. I don’t think any competitor goes to a game without being in the winning mindset.”
Allen said he was proud of the team and the way they committed to the game.
“What I was proud of most is how our guys approached it — not backing down and staying toe-to-toe and competing at a high level.”
Although the Jets fell short of a win, the game was full of positivity and enthusiasm, and the team was happy to be on the court.
“If you are truly a competitor,” Allen said, “you want to compete against the best. That was the exciting point of the whole event.”
Allen also commented on the competitive rivalry of the teams, which he said made for a fun atmosphere.
“It’s a friendly rivalry and that made it fun. In the back of everyone’s mind, we all remember what the cause was and what the game was for. And when it’s all said and done, you have two programs that support one another when they can. They’ve been good to us and we communicate with them all the time."
Allen said he’s also continuously thankful for the amount of support shown by the fans.
“I would like to thank the Newman community for their constant support. We’re so thankful to have great leadership and support, and just people being involved. We hope we can continue to grow interest in the basketball program and put a product on the floor that the community can be proud of.”