SUNO basketball returns after three-year hiatus
The Castle is throwing open its doors on October 29 to welcome back the Knights as Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) basketball returns to campus after a three-year hiatus.
Athletic programs were discontinued in 2019 due to budget constraints.
Through hard work and determination, SUNO Chancellor Dr. James H. Ammons, Jr. is bringing the excitement back to the court.
“Athletics is an important part of the university experience,” said Dr. Ammons. “Our inclusion in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) allows us to offer scholarships to student recruits. These scholarships are the only avenue through which many students can attend college.”
SUNO is an associate member of the NAIA and kicks off its athletic programs again with men’s and women’s basketball. As part of its membership, the University must institute six sports within four years. Beginning with its current two programs, the University plans to add women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s golf in 2023 followed by men’s and women’s track and field in 2024. Other sports under consideration are swimming and tennis.
SUNO Director of Athletics James Matthews began basketball recruitment in 2021. Hindered by the COVID pandemic from personally visiting locations throughout the country, Matthews used social media and the network of coaches to reach potential players. His efforts were successful, bringing aboard drafted players from Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia and locally from both Hammond and Baton Rouge.
“As I spoke to the students, they were very excited to come to SUNO because of its small university setting and personal attention,” Matthews said. “They wanted to be a part of the community and not feel alone on campus. Of course, the City of New Orleans was a big draw.”
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