Staff, Intramural Students Share Spotlight in Halftime ‘All-Star’ Challenge
By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau
The Dec. 14 interoffice halftime basketball game between the Peoria and Tempe campuses didn’t live up to the hype. It ended in a 3-3 tie.
Both locations have since settled their differences and combined to form an employee “all-star” team to regain their credibility against a team of GCU’s top intramural hoopsters.
The employees vs. students game is scheduled for Tuesday at halftime of the men’s basketball game versus BYU Hawai’i, which tips off at 6:30 p.m. at GCU Arena. This year’s interoffice halftime game marked the second event of its kind, with Tempe winning the first meeting.
“This year we decided that the winner of the Tempe and Peoria game would take on a team of students,” said head cheerleading coach Emily Stephens, who is coordinating the halftime event. “The problem is we didn’t have a winner so (Peoria and Tempe) created an ‘all-star’ team to play an all-star team of students.”
Reggie Alfonso, head coach of the employee team, selected 12 operations staff members from both campuses to join his all-star team, based on their performances on the court. His team includes Glen Ellis, Gaby Ngoundjo, David Gonzales, Montae McFarland, Essa Kaston and Robert Krauel of the Peoria campus, and Matt Nalan, Scott Gianninoto, Nate Jones, Chris Hatch, Nick Holladay and Cameron Hein of Tempe.
GCU’s intramural staff led by Matt Lamb held tryouts for the student all-star team. The student team includes Jacob Berry, Chris Cook, Jevon Estelle, Jonathan Francis, Josh Gee, Dennis Johnson-James, Matt Jones, Billy O’Dyer, Jesse Villegas and John Williamson. The team will also play in a national intramural basketball tournament Friday at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Alfonzo said his employee team wasn’t worried about their student competitors. They have other things to worry about.
“We are hoping the operations staff can run for 10 minutes without burning out,” said Alfonso, who works as a regional director of operations at the Peoria campus. “We have been practicing at least once per week for an hour. We are confident we can score more than three points (this time), at least four.”
When asked about their chances of winning, Alfonso responded with a joke.
“Define win,” he said. “Does not falling over with fatigue count?”
Contact Cooper Nelson at 639.7511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.