Dear Blazer Basketball Supporter:

2021-22 Men's Basketball Blazer Club

Join our Blazer Club today. Click here for the form.

We’re back! At least that is where things stand here in late September…..we are back to training and practicing for a November start of the season, we are back to having cheerleaders and the band at our home games, and we are back to getting fans in the stands to watch our young men compete. The 2020-21 academic/athletic season, for all of us, was unique. Abbreviated and pushed backed seasons, COVID-heavy protocols both on and off campus, and empty gyms are a few of the things I hope we don’t have to work through ever again. From an athletic-lens, it was goofy. But, with that said, we won a share of our 3rd straight conference championship (5th in last 7 years), earned the 1 seed in our Region tournament, and then advanced to the NJCAA DII National Tournament. We had all-conference selections, all-region selections, a Player of the Year and a First Team All American. We had three Academic All-Americans and a host of stories and connections that we hope have an impact for a long, long time. I want to share a little info on our group, a few things to look forward to, and request a little help if you would be so willing.

2021-2022 Trail Blazers

Our roster makeup is extremely unique. As I enter my 11th season as the head coach of this program, this is absolutely the oldest, most experienced team I have had here at John Wood. I have no idea if that is a positive thing or not – but it is unique, physically and emotionally. We have 5 returners, 2 of those guys entering their 3rd season with us, 6 transfers with 5 of them entering their 3rd year of college, and 3 traditional freshmen. We are now gearing up for the start of official practice the first of October and have spent the past 6 weeks trying to create some trust, some connection, and some routine that all has an impact on what it is to be a member of Blazer basketball. The early returns are positive – but it is easy right now. No playing time being dispersed, no losing, no public competition, no roles being established – those things make intercollegiate athletics hard. It isn’t the 6am conditioning that makes it hard – it is the emotional toll of a long season and the potential of public failure. The only way to try and be proactive in those inevitable struggles is through connection. Having a coaching staff and teammates that you trust helps these young men fight through the public adversity that is coming…..that is how we spend our time these early months. We are getting there – but we won’t know until we know.

Our program has an extreme focus on winning games late in the season, always has. It is unbelievably hard to do and takes relentless toughness and togetherness to manage the long haul of a season and give yourself a chance. We have started that process and look forward to finding progress with this group of men the next 6 months.

2021-2022 Blazer Club

We are asking for assistance in filling some gaps and providing some experiences that will help this group reach those goals – as individuals and as a team. We are not a program that will be defined by a fundraising process nor require our guys to raise a certain dollar amount – it is a privilege to have the opportunity to compete in this program and that is where the focus should remain. With that said, costs of operating a program continue to rise and not always in the same increments as available dollars. It is no different than many other businesses, athletic programs, and/or events – expenses rise, revenues remain the same and a gap is formed. Make no mistake about it – our college supports us in a big way. We are not in a situation where we have to ‘cut’ games or staff members – we are simply in a situation that in order to grow and operate a program at the National level we have to find creative ways to fund it. One of those ways is our BLAZER CLUB. It is an opportunity to hopefully add value to friends, alumni, families, and supporters – while adding significant value to our program. We have invested in film breakdown software, improved our team gear, invested in more marketing and promotional video content, and plan on improving our game day experience (travel and locker room). We also continue to provide book scholarships (almost a 50% increase in cost over the past two years), and are planning on live streaming all 16 of our HOME games this year. Those are expenses that need to be fundraised. Naturally, any support will be more than welcome - if you have a way to help us reach our financial goal without the benefits of the Blazer Club - let's talk. We have advertising opportunities (online, in the gym, title sponsors to Classic events) available for your family and/or business or organization. Corporate opportunities start at the $500 mark and can range to the $5,000+ amount. If you are connected in a way that can add value that way, let us know how we can return on that investment. Simply reach out and we will work from there.

Join our Blazer Club today. Click here for the form.

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2021-22 Blazer Club Membership

Thank you for your committed support of Blazer Basketball!

First posting, October 15th, 2021

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