Rodney Williams




LANGLEY, British Columbia –
Trinity Western fans, get ready for some serious ballin’ Friday night.

When the NCAA Div.1 Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s basketball team steps on the court at the Langley Events Centre to play the Trinity Western Spartans, be prepared to roll tape because there’s going to be plenty of highlight variety action.

Not only will the hometown Spartans be debuting arguably the most talented men’s basketball team ever assembled at the Langley, B.C. campus, but you can bet your ticket’s worth that the Golden Gophers will provide their share of high flying entertainment.

The Gophers – who are coached by Tubby Smith and who have qualified for the NCAA Tournament the last two years – are something of a travelling highlight package.

If it’s not senior guard Blake Hoffarber providing the “did you see that?” moments – as he’s done in year’s past by becoming, in 2005, the first high school player to win an ESPY for Best Play or by being nominated for the same award three years later while with the Gophers – it could well be sophomore forward Rodney Williams providing the on court sizzle – like he did when he became a YouTube sensation in high school – or it might even be coach Tubby Smith and his sideline theatrics.

Although Hoffarber has the ESPY pedigree and many of his teammates have eye-widening talent, Williams might be the main man to watch as early season projections have him going in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft.

Much like when the Spartans hosted Blake Griffin – who went on to be the top pick in the 2009 NBA draft – and the Oklahoma Sooners in 2007, this year’s foray into NCAA competition could well be local fans best chance to see a NBA star in the making.

Along with the aforementioned talent, the Gophers also will have a pair of Canadians on the roster in Maurice Walker (Scarborough, Ont.) and Devoe Joseph (Pickering, Ont.), who both played on Canada’s junior national team.

And you can also likely expect Austin Hollins – the son former Vancouver Grizzlies assistant coach and current Memphis Grizzlies head coach of Lionel Hollins – and Ralph Sampson III – the son of Ralph Sampson II who won the Naismith Award for top college basketball player three times – will have a deep gene pool in which to display Friday night,

Minnesota’s stop in Langley Friday night will be the second of a three games in three nights tour of B.C. Thursday night they play at UBC at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday they will play Victoria at 3:00 p.m.

Check out more videos at the SpartansTV YouTube channel

About TWU:

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 4,000 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 41 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 17 other graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership. For more information, visit TWU's Official Athletics site at

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport:

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-two universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. The CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, and 32 World University Championships. For further information, visit

About CWUAA:

"Canada West is consistently the most decorated of the four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), winning at least 10 CIS national titles every year since 1997-98. Comprised of 14 schools, from Manitoba to B.C., the CWUAA produces numerous major award winners and Academic All-Canadian student-athletes each year, with many going on to athletic success around the globe in events such as the Olympics or Universiade Games."


Last Updated: 2010-09-01
Author: Mark Janzen