National Park College (NPC) will host tryouts for the Nighthawk Basketball team April 22 in the gymnasium. The team will begin a competitive travel schedule for the fall 2017 semester. Open tryouts for women will be from 12 to 2 p.m. and for men from 3 to 6 p.m.
Students must be enrolled as full-time students for both the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters to be eligible to participate. Students interested in participating are asked to register online at www.np.edu/basketball.
NPC decided to move toward competitive sports teams in response to the overwhelming number of requests from students and the level of participation in the intramural teams that were launched last fall. “We’re starting with basketball and will look at expanding to other sports in the coming years,” said NPC President, Dr. John Hogan. “Basketball had an incredible participation rate with our students this year, with over 40 students playing on intramural teams,” he added. Research from the Recreational Sports Journal published by NIRSA (formerly the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association) has shown that students who are involved in campus activities, particularly athletics, are more likely to be successful and complete their studies. Sports are also tied to increased academic performance and retention rates.
“High school students transitioning to college often have a difficult time finding their new identity and thus struggle both socially and academically. For many students their freshman year is the first time they are not involved in organized sports, band, or other student organizations. Our goal is to provide every NPC student a place to belong. NPC Nighthawks Basketball is another opportunity for students to become engaged in the college atmosphere, whether that be as a player or spectator, it gives all students something to belong to and rally around,” said Dean of Enrollment, Jason Hudnell.
NPC intercollegiate club teams will adhere to NIRSA rules and regulations. NIRSA is an organization which regulates various sports through the collegiate systems across the United States. NIRSA serves students and institutions who play at the college varsity or club level in athletic sports, but do not participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), or the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) or other sports affiliates. College club sports include any sport offered at a university or college that compete competitively with other universities, or colleges, but are not regulated by the NCAA, NJCAA, or NAIA. An estimated 2 million student athletes compete in club sports.
Hudnell plans to coach the teams for the fall semester and is already working to recruit talented players. Bob Kissire will serve as the men's assistant coach and Tennille Johnson will serve as the women's assistant coach. Games will begin in November and will run through the NIRSA regional tournament which will be held in March. The fall schedule will consist of a combination of games with club teams from other colleges and NJCAA teams.