Oct. 14, 2011
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
The 19th annual Western Washington University Blue/White men's basketball intra-squad game takes place Thursday (7 p.m.) at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
Admission is free.
Head coach Brad Jackson (27th year, 487-274), just 13 wins shy of his 500th victory, will split his squad, with the teams being coached by assistants Tony Dominguez and Rob Visser.
The Vikings return four starters from last year's 16-11 squad. They are led by 6-0 junior guard John Allen (Brier/Mountlake Terrace), a second-team Great Northwest Athletic Conference all-star, and 6-6 senior forward Rory Blanche (Ashland, OR), who received honorable mention GNAC all-star recognition.
Allen and Blanche each averaged 14.3 points per game. Allen ranked second nationally in the NCAA Division II in free-throw shooting at 91.5 percent and Blanche was 14th in field-goal accuracy at 62.8 percent.
Rounding out the quartet of first-stringers back are 6-5 senior forward Zach Henifin (Bellingham) and 6-8 junior center Chris Mitchell (Everson/Nooksack Valley).
Three returnees, all junior guards, missed either all or part of last season with injuries. They include 6-0 Rico Wilkins (Dallas, TX/DeSoto/Yakima Valley CC), 6-4 Cameron Severson (Petersburg, AK) and 6-3 Richard Woodworth (Bellevue/Newport).
Eligible to play after sitting out last season because of transfer rules is 6-4 sophomore forward Paul Jones, who was a first-team region all-star at Whatcom CC.
Three talented newcomers are 6-7 junior forward Damien Fisher, a transfer from Centralia CC; 6-6 freshman forward Eric Fongue from Switzerland, and 6-3 freshman guard Kyle Impero, who earned Class 1A State Player of the Year honors at Nooksack Valley High School.
Following the Blue/White contest, the Vikings are treated to dinner at the home of WWU Team Orthopedic Physician and long-time fan Dr. Michael Thorpe with the winners serving the losers.