By Logan Hanson
Benedictine University held a banquet for the achievements of the Benedictine Men’s basketball team in the Goodwin Auditorium on Saturday. The team, which appeared in the Division Iii National Championship, was recognized in front of faculty and staff.
The event started with a speech by the Voice of the Eagles, Bill Dorn, who listed the all of the accomplishments of the team which included having the nation’s best field goal percentage defensively, being the first NACC representative into the Division III Final Four, as well as having D3hoops.com’s National Coach of the Year and National Player of the Year. Director of Athletics Mark McHorney was next to take the microphone as he discussed the various steps that the team took to make the season a memorable one.
President of Benedictine University Michael Brophy was in attendance and gave a speech about the team’s accomplishments and the affect that it had on the Benedictine community as a whole. McHorney and Brophy distributed the individual trophies to all the players for the season and their participation in the Division III playoffs.
In all, over 20 players received a trophy for their participation in the playoffs including six senior players. Individual accolades were then recognized as Benedictine presented national awards to players who had earned them.
Senior forward Tim Reamer was the first to receive an individual award as he was presented with the Elite 90 award. The Elite 90 award is presented to the student athlete with the highest cumulative GPA participating the Division III National Semifinals. Reamer, who currently has a 3.88 GPA, is going for a degree in physical education.
“It feels really great,” said Reamer, “I’ve been working hard for four years here and you don’t typically get recognized for what you do in the classroom as a student so it’s very nice to get recognized for it especially at a national level.”
Another person receiving an individual award was Senior Forward Luke Johnson, who received D3hoops.com’s National Player of the Year award. After receiving his award, Johnson gave a speech to the audience addressing the season.
“I just want to thank all of the fans and members of the Benedictine community for supporting us and making the season a truly special one,” said Johnson.
The last person to have the microphone was Head Coach Keith Bunkenburg, who received recognition for being named D3hoops.com’s National Coach of the Year. Bunkenburg, who has been a member of the Benedictine community since he was a student in the 1980’s, read fan letters to the audience to truly reflect the impact the team had on people. After reading the final letter, an emotional Bunkenburg went on to thank all that were involved in the success of the team.
“It’s one of those things that I as a coach appreciate,” said Bunkenburg, “All of those people that have helped us get where we are, faculty, staff, our players and coaches it has been a truly great experience.”
It was a very unique event and many of the players had enjoyed the events. Although the team was thankful, they understood that this is just one step towards their ultimate goal.
“A lot of people showed up which is nice,” said Reamer, “We are still kind of focused on next season, working out, playing open gym and just really looking forward to next season.”