Coming off a two-game winning streak, the men’s basketball team will honor its seniors Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
All four seniors on the team described closing their senior conference season as bittersweet and strange.
“It’s very surreal knowing it’s my last year,” said senior guard Marek Klassen. “I’ve been here five years, and it has all gone by so fast.”
Klassen has had a phenomenal five years for the Sea Lions. During freshman year, he was named to the PacWest First Team All-Conference. His sophomore year, he the led team in scoring 11 points per game while starting all 31 games. Last year, he helped his team to a national title. This year he aimed at accomplishing one goal: getting a second national title.
“I want a national championship… same as last year,” said Klassen. “I have had high expectations for this team since day one and I am definitely not compromising now.”
Klassen has had much help along the way by senior guard Hayden Lescault and senior forward Junior Morgan. Lescault, a former NCCAA first team All-American guard, has averaged about 12 points per game this season. As last week’s co-player of the week, Lescault said he is determined to do what he can to contribute to the team.
Morgan transferred during his junior year and leads the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game. He is also leading the team with a high shooting percentage at 56.7 percent. Upon hearing of being ranked eighth in the region and receiving the sixth seed berth, Morgan was disappointed.
“I don’t feel it was appropriate because we put in more work than most people realize,” said Morgan. “And all the games that we have lost, we didn’t play our brand of basketball, so in the tournament our plan is to do that and show everyone we deserved a higher seed. Playing with a chip on our shoulder will help us go where we want.”
Due to injuries, senior forward Oeivind Lundestad has had to play a different role on the team. These injuries, however, have not stopped him from supporting his teammates. His goal finishing out this season is of course winning, but also doing his part, whether that be on the court or from the bench.
“I want to do what I can to help the team win,” said Lundestad. “I’m not playing, so [I’m going to do] whatever I can do to support and help out [the team].”
Feb. 23 the team as a whole will get honored by the San Diego Hall of Champions when they receive the Significant Achievement Award for winning the NCCAA National Championship last year against Grace College.