A Magazine from California State University, ChicoSpring 2012 Issue

Men’s Basketball Wins First CCAA Title

Men’s Basketball Wins First CCAA Title

Left to right: Jay Flores, Coach Greg Clink, and Josh Jackson on Senior Night Feb. 24 in Acker Gym.

Left to right: Jay Flores, Coach Greg Clink, and Josh Jackson on Senior Night Feb. 24 in Acker Gym.

When Jay Flores came to Chico State, he couldn’t imagine feeling more strongly about anything than he did about basketball. That’s changed.

“People who know me would probably tell you that I love basketball more than anything in the entire world,” said senior Flores following the Chico State men’s basketball team’s season-ending 74–65 loss at Western Washington in the second round of the NCAA Championship Tournament. “But looking back on my time here, basketball is going to be second as far as what I miss the most. I’m sure that, looking back, we’ll be able to take a lot of pride in what we accomplished. But right now, all I know is that I’m really going to miss these guys.”

The season ended with a loss, but what the Wildcats accomplished during their history-making season could never be undone by one loss. They tied the school record with 25 wins, claimed the program’s first NCAA Championship Tournament win since 1958, and won the University’s first-ever CCAA men’s basketball title—all despite being picked to finish seventh in the CCAA in the preseason coaches’ poll.

They also formed a bond that will stand perhaps longer than any of their season’s accomplishments. “The losses and wins were important, but the brotherhood we built, words can’t describe,” said Josh Jackson, the only other senior on the team. “Winning the CCAA Championship, going to the NCAAs—that was an amazing feeling. But just getting to play with these guys every day was the best thing of all. We’ve got a bond that can’t be broken by any loss, no matter how disappointing it is.”

As Coach Greg Clink breathed the air outside the small locker room, his focus shifted from the game to his two seniors. “You could not ask for better leaders. It’s an emotional locker room right now,” said Clink. “There’s not a dry eye in there.”

Not long from now, he’ll think back to that fact and smile. He set out to build a championship team. In the end, he helped to build a brotherhood that will last even longer than the memories of a game. The tears told that story. Flores and Jackson confirmed it.

For more about this spring’s Athletics achievements, go to www.chicowildcats.com.

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Alum Notes

John Concannon

John

CONCANNON (BS, Business Administration, ’85) is a fourth-generation vintner at Concannon Vineyard.

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Tanja Poley

Tanja Poley

(BS, Business Administration, ’94) is the human resources manager for the News & Review, headquartered in Sacramento.

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Kathy Crusco

Kathy Crusco

(BS, Business Administration, ’87) is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Epicor Software Corporation.

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