The Maroon

Players put books before the ball

High GPAs keep athletes in the game

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY KATE SCHLESINGER

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Members of Loyola University men’s basketball team are students first, with academics high on their priority list, according to Assistant Coach Brandon Parham.

The five seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and five freshmen that make up the ‘Pack keep an even balance between books and ball.

According to Associate Athletic Director Brett Simpson, the team has maintained a 3.0 GPA or higher for the past seven years, and in the spring of 2008 they had the highest GPA for men’s basketball in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics conference with a 3.44.

Simpson said that in the past seven years, the team has had numerous Daktronic Scholar athletes, a program sponsored by DakStats that awards student athletes who have a GPA of 3.50 or higher.

Parham said that part of the reason is Coach Michael Giorlando’s emphasis on maintaining good grades. Incoming freshmen and transfer students have required study hall hours they have to meet each week.

So far the team has an overall record of 6 wins, 2 losses.

Last year the team made it to the semi-finals of the NAIA Division I conference tournament.

If they can stay focused, “Winning the conference this year is a very realistic goal for us,” Parham said.

Colby Wilson can be reached at [email protected]

 

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Players put books before the ball