Go, Bulldogs!

Basketball Champs

Bulldogs Top the Big South

By Alex Peoples '17

UNC Asheville's women's basketball teamThe UNC Asheville women’s basketball team won their second straight Big South Conference championship in 2016-17. But doing so was just about as hard as you could possibly imagine. The season was filled with searches for team identity and players who were injury-free. And come tournament time, they had to do something that had never been done before in the conference: win four games in four days to win the conference championship and earn a bid to the NCAA tournament. They were the first seven seed to ever do so in the Big South. Head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick and her team fought through the adversity and improbable odds to become back-to-back champions and live up to the expectations, starting the season as the reigning Big South Champion and ending it with the title once again.

Seniors Chatori Major and KJ Weaver were recognized with all-conference honors. Major earned her second first-team plaudit in as many years and was named to the All-Academic Team. Weaver was named an honorable mention selection. And the Bulldogs took three spots on the 2017 Big South Conference Women’s Basketball Championship All-Tournament Team with sophomore guard Sonora Dengokl, junior center Bronaza Fitzgerald and senior guard Major all earning a spot on the team. Dengokl was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Coach Mock also earned the Coach of the Year honors at UNC Asheville’s ASHPYS.

UNC Asheville's men's basketball teamMen’s basketball had what head coach Nick McDevitt called a fun year with the Bulldogs closing the regular-season as co-champions in the Big South where they earned the No. 2 seed in the Big South Tournament. The Bulldogs finished out the year in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament where they were awarded the overall No. 1 seed in the annual event. The Bulldogs did not lose a conference home game during the
2016-17 regular season en route to a 15-3 overall record in the league. The 15 wins in Big South play marked the 10th straight year that the UNC Asheville men’s basketball program had won at least 10 games in league play, which is a new conference record.

McDevitt was chosen as a finalist for the 2017 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award. The award is presented annually to those who not only achieve success on the basketball court but also display moral integrity off of it.

A Major Hit

Maybin Mission Youth Camp Comes to Campus

By Alex Peoples '17

Cameron Maybin at the first campMajor League Baseball player and Asheville native Cameron Maybin held his inaugural community baseball program at UNC Asheville on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. More than 175 local Asheville kids from ages 8-13 were treated to a day of fun and fundamentals at Greenwood Field.

Maybin was assisted by the UNC Asheville baseball team, and the college players had as much fun as the kids.

“I’ve worked multiple kid’s baseball camps before with my high school back home and I absolutely love working with younger kids. Their passion and love for the game is unreal,” said freshman Jake Madole. Freshman Brandon Lankford had a similar reaction, saying, “As I saw all the kids running around having fun it took me back to when I was a kid and it made me realize how fun baseball truly is and what it can do for someone.”

Maybin shared some nostalgia too.

“Asheville will always be a special place for me—it’s where I grew up, it’s where I got my start, and it’s where my wife and I have chosen to raise our family,” said Maybin. “I want to provide something to the youth of this community and I love being around baseball and teaching the fundamentals of baseball. And letting the community know that I want to help these kids build and develop as well as develop these relationships with UNC Asheville and put on more things in the community. This is just the beginning of it all and it’s going really well.”