The men’s basketball season just opened on Monday as they played at Oshkosh in part of a charity exhibition for a hurricane relief fundraiser, losing 66 to 89. But, from the game, donations were collected for the American Red Cross and its efforts to help victims of this summer’s hurricanes! The coaches, Lawrence’s head coach Joel DePagter and UW- Oshkosh’s head coach Pat Juckem, are both former Lawrentians and current friends. During their time as students, DePagter was a Midwest Conference Player of the Year who led the Vikings to the 1997 Midwest Conference championship before graduating in 1998. And, Juckem was a 1995 Lawrence graduate and a basketball and football standout for the Vikings. The two coaches worked side by side at Lawrence as the Vikings won Midwest Conference titles in 2004 and 2005, before Juckem departed to coach at another college. Since then, DePagter has won another title as an assistant coach and claimed Midwest Conference championships in 2008 and 2009 as Lawrence’s head coach and was named the 2009 Midwest Conference Coach of the Year. This year DePagter enters his eleventh season as our head coach with four returning starters, including senior sharpshooting guard Jeremy Stephani and senior three-point ace Ben Peterson. With such a great line up in our basketball team, this upcoming game against Wisconsin Lutheran is sure to be interesting, so make sure to check out the regular season opener for the men’s basketball season next week!