Madu Cole is in his final season with the men’s club basketball team. While most club basketball teams have wrapped their seasons up, GU has something else on their mind. Nationals. I sat down with senior, Madu Cole, to find out more about the men that make up this team, and their goals to win big this year.
KM: Tell me a little about your basketball history and where you started playing.
MC: I have been playing basketball since fourth grade in San Jose California. The first time I dunked was in a basketball game in the 7th grade. That still is one of the biggest highlights of my basketball career. I played in high school at Bellarmine in San Jose and I walked on to the GU men’s team my freshman year. Sophomore year I decided to join the club team.
KM: What has your experience been with the team?
MC: I love this team. We do a lot together, from practicing twice a week, to doing GUSR on the weekends; we spend a lot of time together. A bunch of us also play on intramurals together.
KM: How competitive are tryouts for the team?
MC: Every September we have open tryouts. We go to club fair and publicize our team. The tryouts are also at 6 am and very competitive, especially for freshman. We have a president and two student coaches who run the tryouts and decide what the team needs. Talent and commitment is what we look for.
KM: What were your team goals this season?
MC: Every year our goal is to get to regional competitions. They were at Eastern this year. Two years ago was the first time we made ever made it to nationals. Therefore, every year, or goal has been to try and make it to nationals. In order to make it to nationals, we play in men’s leagues and play various club teams.
KM: What is the teams greatest strength?
MC: Our greatest strength is how we look out for each other. When we join the club it is like a family unit. Especially with our great senior dynamic. Our chemistry has been great and we boast a very competitive and athletic team every year.
KM: What did you want to improve upon from last season?
MC: Last year we lost to WSU, and did not make it to nationals. From a senior standpoint we knew we had to step up. Everyone really took things that they wanted to improve upon, and made that their off season goal. Everyone was really committed to self-improvement.
KM: How did being abroad last semester affect your game this semester?
MC: While abroad I worked out a lot. Dallas Smith and I played basketball three or four times. I can count on one hand, sadly, how many times we played (laughs). Dallas and I were really just out of shape. We went to go shoot the weekend we were back and it was not pretty. But once we got into the swing of things we put in a lot of work and played as much basketball as we could. It is always hard to bounce back but I believe you never lose your game.
KM: What is your biggest rivalry game?
MC: We do not have rivals yet. I would love to see conferences in the future, and distinct leagues for club basketball. Our biggest rivals now are teams in men’s leagues.
KM: What was your most memorable game with this team?
MC: Definitely two years ago at U of A. We had played seven games and had been undefeated. We won three games in a row against huge teams, then in the championship game against the US Air force, Derrick Hein hit a three pointer right in front of our bench and we just went crazy! It was the first time for us, going to nationals.
KM: When are nationals?
MC: In April in North Carolina.
KM: What do nationals mean to you and the team?
MC: Nationals for us are what the national tournament is for NCAA. Winning it would be our goal. Getting past regionals used to be a huge test, but now we know we can do it. This year is to try and win nationals and beat the number one club team.
Gonzaga men’s club basketball seniors:
Good Luck guys!