Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusader Men's Basketball Summer Roundup
Shawn Huff and Joaquim Gomes were two of eight Crusaders to play for their native countries this summer.
Shawn Huff and Joaquim Gomes were two of eight Crusaders to play for their native countries this summer.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Everywhere you turned at the various FIBA continental championships this summer, it seemed like you could run into a player with Valparaiso ties, as eight current and former Crusaders represented six different countries at four of the five continental championships. In addition, a pair of seniors from last year's Horizon League championship team inked deals to continue playing basketball professionally in Europe.

Two former Crusaders earned gold medals representing their native countries this summer. Veteran Joaquim Gomes (2000-2004) helped Angola continue its dominance of African basketball, earning his fourth AfroBasket gold medal as a member of the Angolan squad and helping the team qualify for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Gomes averaged 5.6 ppg and 5.4 rpg in the gold medal run as Angola went 7-0. He scored a tournament-best nine points each in wins over Mozambique and Morocco, and chipped in six points and three rebounds in the gold medal game against Egypt.

Meanwhile, Ryan Broekhoff (2009-2013) continued his fledgling international career, as after helping Australia to a silver medal at the World University Games, Broekhoff stepped up to the senior squad as Australia swept New Zealand in a two-game series to claim the gold medal at the Oceania Championship and earn an automatic berth in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Broekhoff appeared in both games of the series, combining to play 13 minutes and score six points for the Boomers.

Gomes was one of two former Crusaders competing at the 2013 FIBA AfroBasket, as Mohamed Kone (2005-2006) was part of the host Ivory Coast squad. Ivory Coast went 5-2 at the tournament, coming up just one point shy of claiming the bronze medal. Kone averaged 8.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game over Ivory Coast's seven games, including a 20-point, 10-rebound performance in just 19 minutes in a win over Burkina Faso.

Four former Valpo players competed at the 2013 FIBA EuroBasket, including Lubos Barton (1998-2002), who suited up for the Czech Republic, which went 2-3 and was knocked out in the preliminary group stage. Barton averaged 7.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, including a 10-point game against Poland. He also pulled down 12 rebounds in 19 minutes against Spain, which entered the tournament ranked second in the world.

A trio of former Crusaders were part of the Finland squad which went 4-1 to advance out of the preliminary group, and then missed out on advancing out of the second round to the knockout stage based on a head-to-head tiebreaker. Shawn Huff (2004-2008) posted 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Finns, highlighted by a 20-point, nine-rebound game in a three-point win over Russia, which entered the tournament ranked sixth in the world.

Huff also contributed 13 points to a win over Greece, the world's fourth-ranked team entering the tournament. Meanwhile, Samuel Haanpaa (2006-2008) averaged 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds per game, including nine-point efforts against Turkey and Slovenia, while Antti Nikkila (1999-2003) appeared in four of Finland's eight games.

Junior Vashil Fernandez capped a busy offseason, which included traveling to New Zealand as one of three Crusaders to play on Athletes in Action teams this summer, by playing for his native Jamaica in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship. It was a historic tournament for the Jamaican squad, which appeared at the Americas Championship for the first time and won games over both Argentina (ranked third in the world) and Brazil (ranked ninth in the world). Fernandez appeared in four games at the tournament, blocking a shot in the win over Argentina and grabbing a pair of rebounds against eventual champions Mexico.

Outside of the international ranks, a pair of Crusaders who helped Valpo to back-to-back Horizon League regular season titles and the 2013 NCAA Tournament have inked professional deals in Europe. Broekhoff signed with Besiktas JK in Istanbul, a member of the Turkish Basketball League which is perhaps most notable for signing NBA All-Star Deron Williams to play during the 2011 NBA lockout. Meanwhile, Kevin Van Wijk (2010-2013) signed with Oviedo CB, a Spanish squad which captured the LEB Plata championship last season to earn promotion to LEB Oro, the second-tier professional league in Spain.

W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay