Monday, August 25, 2014

Leadership Seminar

On Friday, Trinity Basketball's coaching staff had a special opportunity to connect with officers from the Army's 264th Medical Battalion during a Leadership Seminar held in the Bell Athletic Center. Both groups used the open-forum design to discuss various topics that both the military and collegiate athletics share with one another. It was an extremely positive experience with a great amount of brainstorming and information shared. Trinity University is blessed to be located in a city with such a strong military presence and to be able to learn from these heroes was a true privilege. We would like to thank all of those that participated.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kitzinger Takes On Brazil

Coming off the excitement of the World Cup, Brazil opened its doors to host another United States team - this time in the great sport of basketball. On July 21-30, United States Tours & Events, coached by Bryan Martin, took a team consisting of talented NCAA Division III athletes across the Samba Nation. The group spent time in Sao Paulo, Santos, Jundiai, and Rio de Janerio, competing against four of Brazil's top Premiere League teams: Soracaba, Rio Soul, Piracicaba, and Santos.

Trinity Basketball's Robert Kitzinger '14 was one of the ten athletes invited to participate. When asked of the experience, Kitzinger described it as "a once in a lifetime experience that was extremely competitive." While the team finished the tour 1-3, the USA group competed well with no game above a ten point difference. Some teams even had former NCAA Division I All-Americans participating. Kitzinger described the Brazilian style of basketball as "very physical, with defenders being allowed to be much more aggressive on the ball than in the US."

The trip wasn't all about basketball, as the group also toured each city, experiencing the culture. Kitzinger particularly enjoyed mingling with the locals. Whether it was traveling to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain to enjoy the view, standing at the foot of the Christ The Redeemer statue, or just taking in Copacabana Beach, there was always something new each day.

This was a special way to end a spectacular career for Kitzinger, a four-time All-SCAC selection and three-time SCAC Champion, who now heads to the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. We will miss Kitz here in San Antonio, but are excited to see what lies ahead in his extraordinarily bright future.

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