The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Former basketball club athletes express mixed feelings about new collegiate basketball team coming to TAMUSA

Former basketball club athletes express mixed feelings about new collegiate basketball team coming to TAMUSA - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Texas A&M University-San Antonio Men’s Basketball Club celebrate their victory over Northeast Lakeview College in the Texas Collegiate Athletic Conference championship spring of 2022. Former head Coach Eric Leung (pictured far right) was happy to hear about the official announcement of a new basketball program at A&M-San Antonio. File photo courtesy of Eric Leung.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio announced Nov. 4 the expansion of the athletics program with the addition of a men’s and women’s basketball team for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Since joining the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in the fall of 2020, A&M-San Antonio has competed in the Red River Athletic Conference with the university’s current soccer, softball and golf programs.

However, some might say A&M-San Antonio already had a basketball team before the announcement.

The recreational sports basketball club, which no longer exists, won a championship in their 2021-2022 season.

Former head Coach Eric Leung was elated to hear about the official announcement of the team, even though he had been aware of the impending expansion.

Leung was told during the championship season of 2021-2022 that A&M-San Antonio would eventually get their own collegiate basketball team once the REC center was fully completed.

A&M-San Antonio is currently constructing a $17.4 million facility that will include three large primary spaces: a gymnasium that will house two recreational basketball courts and one collegiate competition court, a 3,400-square- feet weight room and a locker room.

Leung expressed how vital basketball is for not just the university, but the city as well.

“They’re going to say it’s a privilege, but it’s a need–especially for a city like San Antonio. Basketball helped this city grow,” said Leung.

Leung is currently an assistant coach for the Our Lady of the Lake University basketball team but said he encouraged his former Jaguar players to try out for the new A&M-San Antonio team if interested.

“I don’t know what the process is going to be, but they definitely have the talent to do so,” added Leung.

The players from the champion team gave mixed reactions to the news.

Jayden Campos, business junior, was the starting forward for the REC sports basketball team. Campos said he found out about the new team from his girlfriend. Although it was interesting to hear, he said it wasn’t something on his radar.

“I didn’t really think too much about it,” said Campos. “We won a championship, but we didn’t end the way we wanted to this last season. So I was just really kind of focusing on moving towards the pro route…it wasn’t really on my mind too much.”

The team had to forfeit their playoff spot in their last season because they weren’t able to secure a gym to play their home games in.

Nonetheless, Campos is still pleased with the route A&M-San Antonio is taking with basketball.

Campos said he’s glad the university was taking the pool of talent within San Antonio more seriously.

Communications sophomore, Diego Aguirre, shared his ex-teammates sentiment and said the way the REC sports team ended left a sour taste in their mouth. Still, Aguirre saw the upside of having a collegiate team for the university.

“Yes, that’s a cool thing to have at the school and I think that it’s going to [bring more attention] than soccer, softball or golf,” Aguirre said. “[I’m] excited, but at the same time it’s a little whatever.”

Aguirre also noted the positive impact a new team could have on the A&M-San Antonio community overall.

“This is great, for the southside of San Antonio.” Aguirre said. “Even for student life. Kids are going to be able to go to the games, and it’ll be a fun activity.”

Both Campos and Aguirre said they would be open to trying out for the team if the right opportunity presented itself.

About the Author

Matthew (Moose) Lopez
Social Media Editor
Matthew Lopez is a senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio majoring in communications. Matthew received his associate degree along with his high school diploma in 2018. In his downtime he likes to go to the gym, watch sports and write poetry. He hopes to have a career in journalism where he can report on anything and everything — as long as he gets to continue writing, that is enough for him.

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