The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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UNA Basketball gears up for 2023-24 season

Gavin Van Devender | AD Designer

The University of North Alabama Basketball programs are getting ready for their 2023-’24 season. Both the Men’s and Women’s teams will have their first contests on Monday, Nov. 6th, as they take on the Blue Mountain College Rams and the UT Southern Firehawks, respectively.

“I’ve really enjoyed the progression of this group…” said Coach Tony Pujol, Head Coach of the Men’s team, regarding the growth of his team. “I think the veterans have done a good job of continuing to better themselves[…]With the newcomers, they’ve also blended them in pretty quickly.”

In addition to Coach Pujol’s graduating players, he also remarked on the impactful leadership of his veteran Juniors, saying, “I’ve also got some guys that have been here for 4+ years; they’re Juniors, but they’re COVID Juniors[…]Even though they have an extra year after this one, they’ve been here the longest.” Pujol said that, because of their comparatively long tenure with the team, his Juniors have also stepped into leadership roles to help the team continue to improve.

Senior Guard K.J. Johnson remarked on his outlook for his final season, saying, “It feels like it all went by so fast, but I feel like I’m ready for it. One of the things Coach [Pujols] challenged me with a lot this year is just being that voice and that leader other guys coming in.

Also confident in UNA’s upcoming season is Jacari Lane, a Sophomore Point Guard, who said, “God has really given me confidence[…]To be back with a couple of new guys and the returners, to come back and have the same confidence, it feels great.”

The Women’s team is well prepared as well. “At this stage, we’re really excited.” said Coach Missy Tiber, Head Women’s Basketball Coach. She continued, “I feel like we’re a little further ahead than we normally are at this time of the year[…]We have quite a few upperclassmen returning.”

The three captains of the Women’s Team are seniors Alexis Callins, Sara Wohlgemuth and sophomore Rhema Pegues. Coach Tiber has been impressed by the leadership of the upperclassmen throughout the team, as well as the maturity shown by all four of her sophomore players, including Pegues.

Coach Tiber’s Lions have found themselves busy with competition over the course of the off-season. “We mixed things up in the offseason a little bit through the summer and through the fall,” Tiber said. “We’ve competed a lot more[…]It’s taught us how to be extremely competitive. We’ve had two scrimmages so far against power-five schools.”

Coach Tiber has confidence in the upcoming season, saying, “I like where we’re at. I think we’ve got a good group; we’ve got good depth at most positions.”

The Women’s team is facing a tough non-conference schedule this season, featuring power-five schools such as Auburn University and the University of Texas-El Paso, in addition to well respected non-power-five teams such as Tennessee-Martin, Southern Mississippi, and Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Both the Men’s and Women’s teams are looking forward to successful seasons, beginning later on this week.

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Trevor Mickle
Trevor Mickle, A&E Editor
Trevor is a freshman student from Jemison, Alabama, majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Digital Media Production. Trevor is excited to get involved on campus help keep students informed on important topics in our community.

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