‘Team Peoria’ Stockpiles Former ‘Lopes Hoopsters for Interoffice Match
By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau
Few, if any, GCU basketball rivalries are as heated as the battle between the Tempe and Peoria campuses. The Antelopes vs. Dixie State? Not even close.
Teams from GCU’s sister sites will battle for pride, dignity and a year’s worth of bragging rights at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Montana State-Billings on Friday at GCU Arena. The team that draws the most fans also earns a half-day off from work.
Let’s meet the Peoria team, which is looking to avenge its 24-23 loss in last season’s inaugural interoffice exhibition loss to Team Tempe. And now for the player introductions:
- A 6-foot enrollment manager from Los Angeles … He played for Vandenberg Air Force Base during his time in the military … He believes if Peoria plays together, they will win — Montae McFarland
- A 5-foot-7 enrollment counselor from Phoenix … She said her game most resembles a combination of scoring guards Derek Rose and Allen Iverson because she will do whatever it takes to get to the basket … She played three years of varsity basketball and had a scholarship to play at Phoenix College but declined to accept an academic scholarship to Arizona State University — Adena Glasper
- A 6-foot-5 military enrollment counselor from Puyallup, Wash. … His basketball background has been injury plagued though he was a member of GCU’s men’s basketball team from 2005 to 2008 … When asked about his team’s chances, he said, “Better than Tempe’s – theirs is cloudy, with a chance of RAIN!” — David Gonzales
- A 5-foot-10 enrollment counselor from Phoenix … His favorite player is Peoria teammate R.C. Ebann … He played at Ironwood High School before knee injuries cut short his college career — Essa Kaston
- A 6-foot-7 military enrollment counselor from Cameroon … He was all-state in Arkansas before playing at Division I University of Charlotte, where he tied the freshmen record for most blocked shots in a single game … He later averaged 7.6 points per game in two seasons at GCU — Gaby Ngoundjo
- A 6-foot-6 enrollment manager from Phoenix … His favorite player is Houston Rockets star James Harden, though he can’t grow the Harden beard … He currently coaches the varsity men’s basketball team at La Joya Community High School in Avondale — Glen Ellis
- A 6-foot-5 finance counselor from Glendale … His favorite player is Michael Jordan, though his game resembles Dallas Mavericks sharp-shooting big man Dirk Nowitzki … His basketball background includes high school and some college, but now he only plays in adult leagues — Cameron Murphy
- A 6-foot-2 enrollment counselor manager from Chicago … His favorite player is Michael Jordan and his game most resembles “not Michael Jordan” … He played high school basketball many years ago — Kolby Jones
- A 6-foot-1 military enrollment counselor born and raised in Avondale … He played at Agua Fria High School before graduating to Army traveling teams, playing on different bases … On his team’s chances: “I feel that we have a great chance to win from what I have heard from last year. We have height and talent; we just got a great group of guys and a girl” — Moses Perez
- A 5-foot-10 enrollment manager from Phoenix … His favorite player is Michael Jordan, but he said his game most resembles NBA commissioner David Stern … When asked about his team’s chances, he said, “We will play with a lot of effort and energy. We have a lot of respect for the Tempe team. May the best team win.” — Noah Gerkin
- A 6-foot-1 enrollment counselor from Phoenix … He played in summer pro-am leagues after playing one season at GCU … He says a Peoria a “shoe-in” to win — Rhon McKinney
- A 5-foot-6-and-a-half enrollment counselor from Phoenix … His favorite player is LeBron James, and he has been known to play above the rim (at Toys R Us) … His thoughts on Friday’s game: “One thing that’s important is that we establish this to be a rivalry. In order to accomplish this, we need to even this series. I’m excited in having the opportunity to help our team win this game.” — R.C. Ebann
- A 6-foot-4 military enrollment counselor from Monterey, Calif. … He played at North Canyon High School in Phoenix and later for (currently Division III) University of Puget Sound … When asked about his team’s chance at a victory Friday night, he said, “I don’t believe in chance. I believe in rebounding” — Robert Krauel
- A 6-foot-2 enrollment manager for the College of Theology from Phoenix … His favorite player is Steve Nash, though he said his game most resembles former first-round draft pick Casey Jacobsen … After learning that legitimate referees were hired for the game, he believes Peoria stands the best chance to win — Michael McFadden
- A 5-foot-12 executive director from Phoenix … His favorite players are Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony … “We are going to try our best to make Peoria proud!” — Reggie Alfonso
Peoria is coached by McKinney and general manager Bart Burkert.
Contact Cooper Nelson at 639.7511 or [email protected].