Christendom’s men’s basketball team hit the big stage last week, playing against NCAA Division I North Carolina Central University. The game marked one of the biggest opponents ever for the Crusaders, and also went down as the first time a Christendom athletic game has been shown on a sports network.
Playing on a bigger stage was exciting for all the players involved, along with the team’s new coaching staff. While the Crusaders did not come up with a victory, they left with something perhaps more important: the respect of the players and NCCU’s athletic department.
“Not often spectators cheer for both teams, but #NCCU fans enjoyed & applauded the energy & effort of @ChristendomVA MBB team,” said NCCU Athletics’ Twitter account after the game. “NCCU students even asked to take a photo with them. #Respect.”
The enormous heart of the players showed on the court, with fans of NCCU even cheering for the Crusaders throughout the game, particularly when sophomore Michael Urankar sunk his four 3-pointers throughout the game. The Eagles invited the Crusaders to return next year, marking the beginning of a new connection between both college athletic programs.
While the schools could not be more different in terms of size, they united based on mutual respect and love of the game.