ISU basketball club strives for national championship

Dazhawn Davis cuts around Drake Lamb during a scrimmage put on by the ISU Basketball Club on Nov. 19.

Trey Alessio

Dazhawn Davis walks into the doors of State Gym, goes up to the entrance to swipe his student ID and immediately turns to climb the stairs to head to the basketball courts.

Like many State Gym goers at Iowa State, Davis is getting ready to play some basketball, but his intentions are a little different than the average college student.

As the sounds of shoes skidding against the floor fill the air, Davis goes up to some fellow basketball enthusiasts and shakes up with them as they begin to play.

Davis, a sophomore in computer engineering, is the president of the basketball club at Iowa State. He also serves as a player on the team, as well as a coach of sorts. He and the surrounding students on the court with him are there to compete and get better.

“This club just gives you a chance to play more organized basketball,” Davis said. “It just gives you a chance to be free and have fun.”

Although they are there to have fun, the basketball club is very competitive. It travels around the country to play other schools in the National Collegiate Basketball Association.

The basketball club has been around for about five years, hosting an annual fall league at Iowa State, but the club travel team was first established last year. It was supposed to play six games in Ames but the opposing team always had something conflicting, so the ISU basketball club was awarded six wins to start the season last year.

They ended up with ten wins, beating teams like DePaul and Northwestern. With those wins, they earned a bid to go to the national championship tournament in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but couldn’t go because of a shortage of players as well as lack of funding.

This year, the goal is to make it back to the national championship tournament.

“That’s the goal. We’ve been thinking about it all offseason and this preseason,” said Markus Flynn, a junior in kinesiology and health and a member of the club basketball team. “That’s really our end goal — to make it back to the national championship — and anything less than that, to us, would probably be failure.”

With new faces with different styles of play, the basketball club hopes to come together and work toward its ultimate goal.

When asked what it will take to get back to the national championship, Flynn jokingly said, “Give me the ball.” He then went on to say that it will take good team chemistry and playing as a collective unit to get back to where they want to be.

“We have to trust each other, we have to move the ball a lot, we have to play hard and play for each other,” Flynn said. “I feel like we have an even better team than we did last year, so if we can live up to our potential, we should be back.”

Davis said a lot of people on the club are close friends and others are just newly acquainted, but he believes the tools are there to be great.

So as Davis, Flynn and the rest of the basketball club run up and down the court at State Gym, shooting 3-pointers and running plays, they all have one goal in mind and are all striving to get better and achieve that goal.

The ISU basketball club played its first tournament last weekend in Chicago, going 0-4, but it continues to strive for its goal of making the national championship tournament.