CSU Captures National Title In Intramural Basketball

Columbus State University on Sunday won its first-ever national championship in intramural basketball with a 67-53 victory in Orlando, Fla. over Southern University (La.) The victory culminated a dominating CSU run in the 2003 American Collegiate Intramural Championships (ACIC), marked by a 17-1 record and 19-point margin of victory average in a field of larger, Division I-level schools.

The journey to the title started at the University of Georgia in February. Athens was the site of the ACIC opening (state finals) round for which CSU coach Michael Speight selected an 'all-star' squad from his winter intramural basketball program. CSU rolled to a 6-0 record and qualified for the regionals at Chapel Hill, NC where they topped the likes of Old Dominion University and Eastern Michigan University.

In the finals, CSU mixed it up with a field including the University of Connecticut, West Virginia University, Arkansas Tech and Georgia Southern University. Despite stronger competition, CSU maintained a double-digit victory margin (12 points) and took home several individual player honors. Terry Washington was named the ACIC national most valuable player while David Colbert brought home state and regional MVP honors; and Tellious Brown was named to the tournament all-star team.

'(Speight) had the perfect formula for the perfect team,' said Derrick Arrington, one of the players.

'After the first round, we represented the smallest school, enrollment wise, in the tournament. I think that adds to what we accomplished,' said, Arrington's teammate Tommy Pierson.

For Speight, it had been seven previous years of coaching CSU teams in the ACIC championships without advancing past the state round of the tournament. For 2003, he said he did not anticipate such a run. 'This is by far the best group I have ever coached.'

The other CSU squad members included Terance McClesky, Collins McCrary, Trenton Dix, Prince Salmon and Tamichael Jones.

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Contact: Michael Speight, 568-3584; E-mail: speight_michael@ColumbusState.edu