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NEIU Basketball Club Ready for a Challange

By Matthew Von Moss
On February 21, 2011

With the basketball season in full swing, the NEIU basketball club is looking to get a piece of the action. They are gearing up for an exciting season full of fast pace, high flying competitive games. Under the supervision of Coaches Brandon Fields, Mark Mocarski, and Dave Merrill, the team is getting ready to square off against other club teams from around the tri-state area including: Northwestern, DePaul, Marquette, Indiana, and Minnesota. Currently, the team's record is 3-4. The club participates in a number of tournaments throughout the semester, and they are even going to Michigan City, Indiana to play a tournament at the Indiana State penitentiary against the prisoners.

Noris Narsa, Intramural supervisor and senior facilities assistant said, "I think the club is really helping improve the players and the overall school spirit. The basketball team is a great place for our students to grow, not only in basketball, but also in team work and other life skills."

As a student club, the team is open to all students regardless of size or ability. Anyone looking to improve their basketball skills and conditioning are welcome to join in. However, when it comes to games against other schools, only about 12-15 players can play. I sat down with head coach Dave Merrill to get his thoughts on the club this semester.

How can a student get a spot on the team?

If you come to practice you can get involved in our program right away. There are no tryouts, and everyone is eligible to be a part of the club. There are many areas in which students can get involved that are not limited to playing. Students with different abilities and interests can contribute to the team. For example: marketing, management, etc...

What is the greatest strength of the team?

I would say probably it's our work ethic. When we're playing well, we are playing unselfishly, with good defense, and making shots. It's when we get lazy on defense and play selfishly when we start struggling.

What is the team's number one goal this season?

Our number one goal is to win a tournament. Our next big tournament is March 4th, 5th, and, 6th. It is the State of Illinois extramural basketball tournament at UIC. That is going to be a big one for us.

What is your goal as the head coach of the NEIU club team?

I want to give players as much of a true collegiate basketball experience as I possibly can. I want them to feel like their playing real college basketball games, and for them to get them most out of their time with the club. Also, as the school's team, I would like to see our club generate some school spirit. (Because of the club, some students have got together a school spirit squad called the Golden Eaglettes, and preform during home games.)

Practices for the club are Mondays 5:30pm-7pm, Wednesdays 4pm-5:30pm, and Thursday 5:30pm-7pm in the Main Gym. Anyone that's interested can join in at any point during the semester, and look for news for upcoming home games in the main Gym.

For further information you can contact Coach Dave Merrill by phone:

(773) 442-4182

Or E-mail:

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