Northwest Nazarene
Johnny Knittel/ NNU Sports photographer

Uphill or Downhill?- What’s next for Northwest Nazarene

Northwest Nazarene men’s basketball hadn’t made it to a tournament in March since 1998-99 when they were in NAIA.

On March 7, 2021, the Men had learned that they made the NCAA tournament. They were announced as the 5th seed, they’d be going up against a team they lost to earlier in the season. The energy was different this time around and Northwest Nazarene would cruise to a 12 point win over Point Loma Nazarene. After that, the next night they went and beat the #1 team in the nation Colorado Mesa by 20 points.

But the Cinderella Story ended on Monday, March 15. It was a good run for the Nighthawks. But now it is time for them to figure out if next year will be uphill or downhill.

There are only three seniors on this team: leading scorer and GNAC Player of the year Candidate Ezekiel Alley as well as the leader of the team Sam Roth and former student manager Ethan McPherson.

I had sat down with Ethan McPherson:

What do you think of the future of this team?

“I think they have great things ahead of them.”

Where do you think they’ll be next season?

“(I don’t know, I guess) it depends on if Zeke comes back or not, but we have Kobe holding down the fort, along with Tru (Allen) and Jay Fox, so I think they have a chance at another run for sure.”

Speaking of Tru, can you speak much about his potential?

“He’s really good if he keeps at it, he is going to do some really good things.”

A lot of great things can be said about college athletes from teammates. But with it coming from a guy like McPherson who worked hard, just to make the team. It must mean something.

The Cinderella Story for this team was definitely fun to watch while it lasted. But now that it is over, the Coaches can start figuring out who will be around next season and start going to work. This team has the potential to go uphill (and possibly bring home a championship) with the roster they have constructed.

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