Fundraiser set for Wolves' trip to NAIA tournament

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COLLEGE PLACE - Walla Walla University's men's basketball team has been invited to participate in a conference tournament for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Playoffs and championship games are scheduled for Feb. 27-28 at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colo.

To help fund the trip, a benefit basketball game will be held at Walla Walla University's Winter Education Complex, located at the corner of 4th Street and Davis, on Thursday at 9 p.m.

Donations will be accepted at that time.

The team learned Tuesday that it earned the postseason playoff opportunity.

"Qualifying for this tournament as one of the top four NAIA Independents has been one of our goals since the beginning of the year," said Gerry Larson, WWU Wolves head coach. "This is the first step toward what we hope will eventually be a trip to the NAIA National Championships."

Larson said this year's schedule helped to secure their postseason opportunity.

"We weren't shy about stacking our schedule so that we played big, tough schools right out of the gate," he said. "Our willingness to step out and compete at a higher level has helped us earn our spot in the tournament. We feel this approach will help us in this postseason, as well as with recruiting."

Walla Walla University is one of nearly 40 colleges and universities who participate in NAIA's Association of Independent Institutions conference.

This is the university's second invitation this year to an NAIA conference tournament.

In January, the women's volleyball team earned fourth place in the conference tournament held in Houston, Texas.

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