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Men's Basketball Team Gears Up for Season in New Gym

November 3rd, 2009

By Cate Pilgrim

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

First home game in new gym: November 6, 8:00pm.
Women's game at 5:00pm.

Members of the Men's Sentinels team scrimmage in their new gym

Goodbye frigid outdoor practices and worn-out nets. Hello glossy floors and NCAA-caliber hoops. This fall, the Patrick Henry men’s basketball team exchanged its nomadic hardwood status for the stability of its own home court advantage: the newly completed Barbara Hodel Student Life Center.  Instead of commuting to late-night practices at random churches and schools across Loudoun County, the Sentinels are finally able to establish a consistent practice routine and develop skills on their home court.

Head coach Bruce Campbell, who for the past five years has coached the Sentinels through their itinerant existence, is anticipating this season like never before.

“For the five years I’ve been here, it’s been difficult to hold consistent practices,” Campbell notes in a bit of understatement. He recalls that in October of last year, for instance, the team practiced outdoors as the weather permitted, but on even good days sun got in players’ eyes and breezy conditions affected shooting.

Standing on the newly-painted sideline, watching his boys shoot free throws, Campbell wore the grin of a man who won the lottery.

“This year we’ve had more practices, a better facility, more freshmen, and, on balance, more athletes,” he shared. “Combine all that, and by game day we’re going to be able to put on an event for the student body, faculty, and staff.” 

On November 6, the Sentinel’s will face Washington Bible College. Campbell hopes that the new bleachers in the BHC will be packed full of fans.

If possible, the fifteen players are more amped than Campbell, although this year’s freshmen cannot fully grasp the excitement of the upperclassmen. Unlike senior Jensen Near, they do not remember skidding across asphalt or traveling back from away games in the wee hours of the morning. But they are still ready to play.

Freshman James Nelson finds the energy jolt of basketball a welcome contrast to the intensity of academics.
“Basketball contributes so much,” he said. “It helps you develop your entire person.”

Atticus Freeland, another freshman, said he can hardly believe he’s playing varsity ball at college.

“I’m so happy!” he said. “And this gym…it’s ten times better than anything I’ve ever played on before!” 

To see the Men's Sentinels’ game schedule, click here.