February 14, 2017 by Morgan Miller, student intern and Laura Phagan
Basketball teams excel off the court
The Rustler basketball teams have been working hard on and off the court this academic year. The women’s basketball team had a 3.76 cumulative GPA score and the men’s team had a 3.18 cumulative GPA.
The coaches work hard to help their students succeed on and off the court.
“I feel amazing about the GPA scores, overall we had a 3.76 the first semester. Four out of the ten players have a 4.0 GPA,” said Ken Swartz, women’s head coach. “The lowest overall was a 3.4 GPA.”
The men’s team had three players with a 4.0 and three that had a 3.28 GPA or higher.
Our team goal is to have a 3.0 and higher. We put time into studying three to four times a week. ”
Jack Nelson, men's basketball coach
The basketball teams must find balance between basketball practice, games, travel and academics. The men’s team have monitored study hours for players with a GPA lower than a 3.0 but Nelson said many still take advantage of the study hours that the coaches have set.
Swartz said he has been extremely happy this season because the team has great GPA scores and they work hard in practice and in games.
“The lady Rustlers are not just here to play basketball, they have come here to earn degrees,” Swartz said. “This basketball program is built around the academic piece and I want them to succeed in life, not just basketball.”
The men’s team also has to get engagement reports from their professors. Nelson said the advantage to have his players get engagement reports is to allow them not only to get to know their professors but to have open lives of communication and acknowledge that they might be struggling in class.
Swartz said he has a great team both on the court and off the court, but he has a lot of fun coaching a great group of young ladies who are focused both on school and basketball.