Two former NCAA Division I players on the Doane Men’s Basketball bring depth and experience to the young Tigers team.
Senior Koh Flippin will see the court for the first time this season at Doane. Sophomore Nick Kornieck will play his second year of basketball at Doane.
Kornieck played at South Carolina Upstate before coming to Doane to “hoop,” he said.
Flippin played at the University of California, Riverside before finding his spot here at Doane.
“I chose Doane because of how hard coach McKeithen recruited me,” Flippin said. “He showed me everything that Doane has to offer, both as a person and as an athlete.”
Kornieck loves the following that he gets as an athlete in the smaller community, he said.
Kornieck was the MVP of Doane’s basketball team last year.
“I hope that the basketball team can give the student body a sense of pride to be a Tiger,” Kornieck said. “I hope we can be very successful this year so that we can get a lot of people to come to the games and be proud to cheer us on to victory.”
Having two Division I players is special because few National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) teams get that chance, Trace Tupper, sophomore men’s basketball player, said.
“There is nothing but positive attributes that they bring to the team,” Tupper said.
Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ian McKeithen said the team is fortunate to have Kornieck and Flippin. He said they bring a high level of skill, work ethic and experience to the team.
“Anytime you have players that have been around the D1 competition, it’s a plus,” McKeithen said.
Sophomore Anthony Laravie, said it’s a fun experience having them on the team.
“They both bring a competitive edge, that ‘I hate to lose’ attitude,” Laravie said.
Although Division I arenas bring in larger crowds, the NAIA has proficient athletes, said Zach Witters, sophomore men’s basketball player.
“When people hear NAIA they all have different reactions, but when you tell them two of your starters are D1 transfers it shows how competitive our league really is,” Witters said.
McKeithen said the two fit in with the team.
“For Koh, it's his first year here, but he's already felt welcomed by the guys in our program. Things are going great,” McKeithen said. “Nick's first year was last season, so, with him being a returner, there is a comfort level now for him on campus this second time around.”
Koh joins the young Tigers basketball team and looks forward to playing with them.
“Being able to bring experience to the young core our team has is something I look forward to,” Flippin said.