Men’s basketball is back

Sadie Layher, Staff Intern

The Oakland University men’s basketball team is excited to get the ball rolling this season with hopes of many wins.

Last season, the Golden Grizzlies posted a record of 25-9. When teams acquire new players it is extremely challenging to keep coherence within the team. With six news players this year, team bonding is important.

“That is part of the battle, we have team building and practices are geared for that, obviously you don’t play the five best players you play the five best players [who work best together],” Head Coach Greg Kampe said.

The team practices every morning, other than Wednesdays, from 10:00 a.m. to around 11:30 a.m. Exhibition games are incredibly helpful as well to prepare the team for the upcoming season.

“It’s a dress rehearsal, so I can test different lineups”  Kampe said.

It also gives the referees, scorers and people working the lights to practice and get a feel of how games will go this season. The Golden Grizzlies first exhibition game this season is on Nov. 6 against Davenport University on the Blacktop at home.

It is important to note that the players are students as well and are here at Oakland University to earn a degree. Players may dream of playing professionally, but they are also determined to focus on their education.

Kampe illustrated that “they are here to go to school and our history has shown we graduate our players, and our GPA is around a 2.9 which is pretty good.” Oakland as a whole is known in the Horizon League for having athletes that manage to keep up good grades.

The men’s basketball team has had a long evolution and has grown significantly in its 51 years. The team, entering its 51st year, has gone from a “bad Division Two team” to a very good Division I team. Kampe has been coaching the Oakland University’s men’s basketball team for 34 years and has witnessed the escalation in talent and success throughout the many seasons.

Because of all the hard work, Kampe earned himself a spot in the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year. But he does his job out of love of the game, and the players have grown on Kampe throughout his career.

He said it is “like a family and coming home to around 13 to 15 kids almost every day.”

For new men’s basketball fans, Detroit Mercy is the team’s biggest rival as the proximity between teams heightens the challenge and the rivalry. This team has become a “focal point for campus life,” attendance and participation are vital to the success of the team. Kampe hopes the team can bring home the national championship this year.

Kampe also wanted to tell the student body that, “we are going to be really good and we need you [the students] here because when the arena is full we always win.”

The official season opener is on Nov. 10 against Fort Wayne both at Oakland’s very own O’rena.