NewsCougars to Honor Five Basketball Seniors on Saturday
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s basketball team will honor its five seniors on Saturday prior to the Cougars’ final regular-season game against Urbana University that will tip off at 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Wyant, Josh Haumschild, Nick Zarley, Andrew Thompson, and Alan Bock have helped to lead MVNU to an 85-45 record over the past four years (.654 winning percentage). The Cougars have reached the 20-win mark all four years and have posted a 42-19 mark at home that includes an 11-3 home record this season. They also finished as the runner-up at the 2004 National Christian College Athletic Association national tournament and placed fifth in 2003.
Wyant, a 5-foot-10 guard from Elida, Ohio, has played in 16 varsity games for MVNU over two seasons after spending two years on the junior varsity team. The former Temple Christian High School product is averaging 1.1 points and 1.2 assists in 11 games this year and is shooting 80.0 percent at the free throw line.
"Bryan is one of the most persistent young men I know,” said MVNU head coach Scott Flemming. "He has battled through several injuries during his time here and has responded with an outstanding attitude. Although these injuries have slowed him down some, he is a very gifted basketball player. He is also a natural leader, and I know he will make an excellent coach in the years to come.”
Haumschild, a 6-foot-6 post from Warsaw, Ohio, has seen action in 19 varsity games over the past two seasons after playing for two years on the junior varsity team. The former River View High School graduate has played in seven games this year and has grabbed six rebounds.
"Josh is the epitome of a team player,” said Flemming. "He comes to every practice and every game ready to give his best. Although he has not seen a lot of action in games, I know that our starting post players would say that Josh has made them better. He is very well-liked on our team, and I know he will be successful in his future endeavors.”
Zarley, a 6-foot-4 forward from Croton, Ohio, has played in 94 career games for the Cougars over the past four years and has averaged 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds while nailing 47 career three-pointers. This season, the former Northridge High School standout has played in all 29 games with six starts and is averaging 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds with a career-high 23 treys.
"I have seen Nick grow so much as a player over the past four years,” said Flemming. "He has worked very hard to become a very good college basketball player and a significant contributor to our success. I have also seen him grow as a young man of God. Nick has become one of our spiritual leaders on the team. He has a real passion for ministry. I have no doubt that he will make an impact on the lives of the young people he will teach, coach, and work with in his church ministry. MVNU is a better place because Nick chose to come here.”
Thompson, a 6-foot guard from Mount Vernon, Ohio, has played in 126 career games for MVNU over the past four years and is averaging 9.4 points per game. He ranks 22nd in school history with 1,182 career points and ninth with 232 career three-pointers made. This season, the former Mount Vernon High School star is averaging 12.0 points and has nailed 70 treys. Thompson was named to the American Mideast Conference South Division Second Team and the NCCAA Honorable Mention All-American Team last year. The Integrated Social Studies major who has a 3.74 grade point average was also an NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete.
"Andrew is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen,” said Flemming. "He handles himself with class on and off the court, and he goes out of his way to build up his teammates. He represents everything I want this program to possess. He has been a tremendous role model to our players and the young kids who look up to him. He has been a big part of our success, and it has truly been my privilege to be his coach.”
Bock, a 5-foot-6 guard from Tallmadge, Ohio, has played in 121 career games for the Cougars over the past four seasons and is averaging 4.3 points, 4.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.7 steals for his career. He is currently tied for third place in school history with 584 career assists, and he ranks sixth with 203 career steals. The former Tallmadge High School standout is averaging 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds this year to go with a team-high 157 assists and 61 steals. Bock was named to the AMC South Division Second Team last season and was the NAIA’s Emil S. Liston Award recipient as the top junior basketball player on the court and in the classroom. The Biology/Pre-Medicine major who has a 3.99 grade point average was named to the NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete Team. Bock is also a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District IV selection.
"Alan is a true student-athlete,” said Flemming. "He excels at whatever he pursues. He has truly fulfilled his role in the long line of great MVNU point guards. He is one of the best defenders I have ever coached, and his energy and desire always makes a positive impact on our games. I am sure that all the point guards that Alan has guarded over the past four years will be glad that he is graduating.”
"For all the accomplishments that he has had on the court, Alan has equaled and exceeded those in the classroom and within the campus community,” Flemming added. "He has a real heart for missions, and I know that in his future profession as a medical doctor he will use it as a platform for ministry.”
Saturday’s game against Urbana will determine whether or not MVNU will play at home in the first round of the AMC Tournament. With a victory, the Cougars would host Malone College on Tuesday in the first round. However, with a loss, MVNU will have to wait and see the outcome of Saturday’s other games to determine their playoff seeding.