For the fourth straight year, the Mount Vernon Nazarene College men's basketball team will play an Athletes in Action team on October 24 at 7:00 p.m. in an exhibition game as the Cougars prepare for the 2001-2002 season. After hosting the game at MVNC the previous three seasons, this year's contest will be held at Ontario High School near Mansfield, Ohio.
AIA teams are made up of former college and professional players who travel throughout the country playing mainly NCAA Division I schools and sharing their testimonies. The mission of AIA is to use the platform of sports as a way to spread the Gospel.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for our team," said head coach Scott Flemming. "We are one of only two small colleges in the entire country that play the AIA basketball team. Obviously, we are a warm-up game for them before they play the likes of Stanford, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Kentucky. It is a great challenge for us. We play this game for two main reasons. First, it is beneficial for us to play such a talented team in a game-like setting before our real season begins. Secondly, I also appreciate the Christian ministry that AIA has to my team and to all those who attend the game. They play sports for the right reason."
MVNC, which posted an 18-15 overall record last season, will kick off the 2001-2002 season at the MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) University Tournament on November 2-3. The Cougars' first home game will come on November 9 in the Cougar Homecoming Classic Tournament.