Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Welcome Class of 2018

Trinity Basketball is excited to announce the incoming Class of 2018. An accomplished group of student-athletes on and off the basketball court, we are thrilled with the addition of these high character young men.

Matthew Bender - Dallas, TX - Jesuit Prep - 6'6 Forward
Brian Blum - Houston, TX - Memorial High School - 6'4 Guard
Matt Jones - Austin, TX - Austin High School - 5'10 Guard
Aaron Knopp - Sugar Land, TX - Austin High School - 6'7 Forward
Cal Miller - Lake Forest, IL - Lake Forest High School - 6'3 Guard
Nik Oakes - Humble, TX - Kingwood Park High School - 6'3 Guard

Please join us in welcoming these guys to Trinity Basketball!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Baltimore, MD Weekend Wrap-Up

The Trinity Tigers covered nearly the entire United States last week, returning from Tacoma, WA on Monday and then traveling to Baltimore, MD Thursday for the 2013 D3Hoopsville Classic hosted by Stevenson University. The Classic brought together ten of the top teams across the country - a holiday gift for the true DIII fan. The Tigers played two games - Keystone College on Friday and Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday.

Keystone came out early doing what they do well - making 3 pointers. Our guys showed tremendous poise not allowing those 3's to take us out of our gameplan. Instead, the Tigers dug in and turned up their defensive efforts, while also showing off their shooting ability in the second half. We pulled away towards the end of the game, winning 82-67, but it was a close match for the majority of the 40 minutes. With a 17 point outing, senior guard Robert Kitzinger became Trinity's 24th player in history to reach 1,000 career points. We are excited to see where he finishes up after a great senior year!

On Saturday, the Tigers took on a very good Ohio Wesleyan team that was upset the night before. The first half was a chess match, as no team could really get it going on the offensive end. Coming out of half time in a tie ball game, the Bishops of OWU started to make, what felt like, everything and came away with a 64-75 victory over our Tigers. For his outstanding performance over the weekend, offensively and defensively, senior forward Jonathan Wilt was named to the All-Classic Team.

It was a first class event, thanks to the efforts of the Stevenson University and D3Hoopsville staff. Our student-athletes enjoyed the experience of competing against NCAA Tournament-quality talent, as well as seeing some other great teams battle on the court. While flying out of (a very cold) Baltimore with a weekend split wasn't ideal, it was another opportunity for our group to realize what it takes to win at the highest level - consistent effort and focus.

The Tigers were able to make it down to the Inner Harbor for dinner Friday night and enjoy the sites of Baltimore.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tacoma, WA Weekend Wrap-Up

This past weekend, the Tigers traveled to Tacoma, Washington to participate in the Doug McArthur Classic hosted by the University of Puget Sound. Flying up Thursday and returning yesterday, the trip proved to be a roller coaster experience, which the team learned a great deal.

On Thursday, the team flew in to Seattle airport and drove down to Tacoma. Along the way, we stopped in for our first team meal in the Pacific Northwest...BBQ? Luckily, it was Famous Dave's and the food was terrific!

On Friday, we played our season opening game against Whitworth College. The Pirates came out making shots early and we never really got it going, dropping the game - 53-71.

Saturday proved to be a similar game, as the Tigers took on Pacific Lutheran University. Poor second half defense and another tough shooting night lead to a 49-67 defeat.

Something had to change on Sunday for the Tigers to get on the right track. The intensity and effort displayed by the Tigers was night and day in the final game against host University of Puget Sound. With a total team effort, the Tigers captured the first victory of the season - 77-56. It was a strong response to the prior two performances. A great way to finish a very competitive opening weekend of games. After Sunday's game, the Tigers were finally able to enjoy some Pacific Northwest seafood at Steamer's - a spot-on recommendation coming from our very own Coach McAdams of the Tiger Football staff.

Although it was raining all day yesterday (typical Seattle weather), the team still was able to do a little site seeing before flying out of Seattle. First, we made a quick stop by the Space Needle...

Afterwards, the Tigers enjoyed Pike Place Market and getting a cup of coffee at the first Starbucks...

Overall, the experience was positive for the Tigers. While dropping two games to start the season was not in the plans, figuring out the level of intensity and focus that is needed to achieve our goals was plainly laid out. A strong win against a good Puget Sound team, while being able to experience a different part of the country that the majority of our guys have never been, highlighted this weekend's trip to Tacoma, WA. Next up, the DIII Hoopsville Classic in Stevenson, Maryland!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Senior Spotlight - Robert Kitzinger '14

The 2013-14 Trinity Tigers will look to their six seniors for leadership, as experience will be a strong advantage for this season's team. This edition of Senior Spotlight will introduce us to guard Robert Kitzinger '14. An Indianapolis, IN native, Robert has played heavy minutes in each of his seasons in the Maroon and White. On the court, Robert is always a threat with his 6'7 frame and ability to shoot from anywhere from the court. If you've followed SCAC basketball the past three seasons, you're familiar with his name, as he has been an All-Conference selection each season (HM first year, 2nd team sophomore year, 3rd team junior year). Many don't know what a tremendous student-athlete Robert is OFF the court, though. Please enjoy getting to know senior guard Robert Kitzinger...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Alumni Perspective - Dwight Lutz '09

It is always great to catch up with our alums and we recently had a chance to chat with 2009 graduate Dwight Lutz. Dwight was the epitome of a team player during his college career, but even more so, he was the perfect example of what a student-athlete should be. As a top academic achiever (once named San Antonio's Scholar Athlete of the Week), Dwight carried one of the top GPA's in the program each year. His success on and off the court has lead him to a career in the NBA. Asked what he's been up to and to reflect on his Trinity days, Dwight provided the following response.

I graduated with the Trinity Men’s Basketball class of ’09, and I’m already having trouble believing it’s been four years since I was grinding through class and practice, day after day, with my teammates and friends. Anyone who has played team sports understands the bond that is created between teammates. It’s a palpable feeling in the huddle when things are rough, and it feels as though you’re telepathic with your teammates when things are clicking. You learn a lot about each one of your teammates after you’ve just ran your 4th 17 (if you don’t know what a 17 is, let’s just say it involves a lot of running). I’m not the first person to realize that it’s easy to become either best friends or worst enemies with your teammates. At Trinity, you almost always see the group become the closest of friends, which is something us student-athletes take with us for the rest of our lives.

The unfortunate reality of the friendships made in sports is that they often fade after the individuals are done playing. Everyone kind of goes their separate ways. I just recently was able to get together with the other members of my graduating class, which is no easy task since there are six of us and we currently reside in 6 different locations from Austin to Afghanistan. Actually, and quite amazingly, I see each of those other five guys a few times a year. We all stay in touch and try to plan trips to see each other whenever we can. It’s not just us, I hear stories of other Trinity hoops classes doing the same thing, and I frequently see alums from the other classes. I recently spoke with a former Trinity football player who was fascinated by how close of friends our team was a full four years after graduating.

What makes Trinity basketball such a unique situation? Much of it is passed on from generation to generation. I remember being shocked when I got onto to campus as a freshman and all of the seniors asked me what I was doing after one of our first team workouts. I assumed that the seniors thought we were annoying wanted to be left alone by the freshman, but they actually invited us to be a part of their social group. The fellow first-years and I hung out at the senior basketball guys’ house all the time, and it even gave us a little street cred on campus; you can’t put a price on that!

This attitude also starts at the top with Coach Cunningham and his staff. They preach a policy that is simple: buy in to the team concepts, or you won’t play. I’ll use my situation as an example. I was in a career-long position battle with fellow shooting guard Patrick Robinson. We pretty much guarded each other every day in practice for four years, and we knew exactly how to drive each other crazy. We constantly battled for minutes on game day. If Pat played well, I played less. If I played well, Pat played less. Pat and I have joked that we should have hated each other during our college days. However, we always cheered each other on and worked together to get better. Had Pat and I been resentful towards each other, it would have been detrimental to the team, and I’m sure Coach Cunningham would not have put up with it. Pat is one of my best friends today, and we see each other on a consistent basis. I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that we still guard each other when we play basketball together.

Since graduating from Trinity, I’ve lived in Florida, Virginia Beach, and currently live in New York City. My career arc since graduating is a nice exhibition of the value of a Trinity degree. Immediately after graduation, I enrolled in graduate school at the University of Florida for mathematical statistics. There were very few American students in the program and most of those came from top tier schools. Needless to say, they must have had a lot of respect for Trinity to accept my application. Either that or I just got lucky and they made a mistake. Who knows, but I’m thankful regardless.

After getting a master’s degree from Florida, I worked for a consulting firm for a year as a statistical analyst. The problem was, I still had that competitive itch that only sports seemed to satisfy. At Trinity, we cared about winning so much, and since most of us knew we would pursue other careers after our college basketball days were over, everyone genuinely seemed to care about winning more than their own personal situation. That sounds cliché and everyone says that, but I really believe our team felt that way about one another, especially the six guys in my class. I quickly found out that this attitude is not near as common in corporate America, and I figured I needed a change. Fittingly, there has been somewhat of a statistical revolution in the sports world in the last decade. Professional sports franchises have figured out that the analytical methods used by the likes of Google and Amazon could be applied to sports in creative ways. I saw this as an opportunity to get into the sports industry.

I decided to do some research and write a paper that I could submit to a sports conference. I had no idea where that would go, but I thought it was worth a shot. The paper involved some pretty simple analysis: I grouped NBA players together based on their individual statistics, then I tried to determine which types of players, and which combinations of player types, were most often found on winning teams. My paper was accepted into the conference and published on the conference website. Representatives from the NBA saw the paper, apparently liked it, and reached out to offer me a job. Basically, I got lucky again. If you’re reading this and wondering how my questionable writing got recognized, that’s a fair thought. I’m sure the NBA was more impressed by my thought process and less by my poetic prose. Perhaps having a degree from Trinity gave me a boost once again.

Nevertheless, I’ve been working in the NBA league office for the last year doing data analysis and analytics for basketball/referee operations. There is a new technology that the NBA is implementing this season that tracks every movement a player makes on the court, and I will be analyzing much of that data. So, although it wasn’t as amazing or direct as it sounds, but I went from Trinity to the NBA.

Dwight Lutz '09

Monday, July 8, 2013

Alumni Perspective - BJ Moon '09

With this past weekend's celebration of our great nation, it only seems appropriate to spotlight a well-deserving Trinity Basketball alum, BJ Moon. When asked "how he was doing" and "what Trinity meant to him", BJ responded from a very uncommon location. We are extremely proud to call BJ a part of our Trinity Basketball Family and look forward to seeing him back in San Antonio in the future. BJ - it is US who should be thanking YOU!

Attending Trinity University was a last minute decision that I made a few months prior to school starting. I was worn out and after dealing with a hostile basketball environment in high school, I thought my basketball career was over. Luckily I decided to give it one last chance, and from 2005-2009 I was given the opportunity to become a student athlete at Trinity University and it would forever change my life. From day one Coach Cunningham helped create a great team environment that built on the idea of trust and respect between one another. He was a coach of few words, but he knew how to lead by example and he brought the best out of all of us. The assistant coaches were extensions of Coach Cunningham and they always pushed us to look for ways to improve ourselves. We were all from different parts of the country and there were distinct differences in personalities, but over time we had created a bond and team chemistry stronger than any other team I’d been a part of. I knew that if I ever needed these guys whether it was on or off the court that they would be there in a heartbeat. Although we did not realize it at the time, the coaching staff as well as Trinity University helped instill values including loyalty and integrity that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.

After graduating from Trinity University with a BA in Marketing in 2009, I accepted a job at USAA doing Insurance. It wasn’t my first choice of jobs, but I needed to gain experience and USAA has a great reputation for doing what is right for the military community. As time passed, there was something missing now that I was no longer part of the basketball team. I realized that I had a need to accomplish something bigger in my life and what better way to do it than to serve my country. In 2011 I decided to join the Army Reserves and after 6 months of training I was commissioned as a 2LT. There is a unique bond that is built between each member within the military community due to the trials and tribulations we go through and the core values that are instilled in us. The values and drive to achieve success I had learned from my days at Trinity made the transition into military life much easier. I am currently serving as an Intelligence Analyst in Afghanistan in support of the special operations community. It has been an amazing experience thus far being able to see firsthand the dedication and heroism these soldiers put forth on a daily basis. Becoming part of the military community was not an easy task, but thanks to all of the support and motivation from my family, friends, and coaching staff at Trinity University, I have been able to achieve my goals and I will continue to improve myself as a person. I am extremely happy with my decision to attend Trinity University and I would not be where I am today without the guidance I received in my days as a student athlete. Thank you for everything!

BJ Moon '09

Friday, June 28, 2013

July Recruiting Period

This July recruiting period should prove to be a very busy one for the Trinity Basketball Coaching Staff. With the open recruiting periods for Division I schools spreading out this upcoming month, a vast majority of the nation's high school talent will be playing in various events all across the country. Be on the lookout for Trinity Basketball at the following events:

June 30-July 1 - Hoop Mountain Elite Student Athlete Prospect Camp (San Diego, CA)
July 10-12 - Hoop Mountain All Academic Showcase (Boston, MA)
July 12-14 - NW Premier Summer Showcase (Seattle, WA)
July 12-14 - Adidas Invitational (Indianapolis, IN)
July 17 - Textbook Academic Academic Showcase (Dallas, TX)
July 18-21 - Great American Shoot Out (Dallas, TX)
July 24-27 - Adidas Super 64, Las Vegas Fab 48, and Bigfoot Hoops Classic (Las Vegas, NV)

If you see any of our coaches at these events, be sure to say hi!