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Hard work pays off for Cody Thueringer, Bulldogs

UMW News Bureau

Cody ThueringerThree years ago, Cody Thueringer transferred to the University of Montana Western and the Bulldog varsity basketball team after playing basketball one year at Highline Community College in Seattle, Wash.

That decision turned out to very beneficial for both Thueringer and Montana Western. “I wanted to come to UMW because I liked the atmosphere,” Thueringer says of his decision to attend Montana Western.

“I like the small-town feel and I love the players and coaching staff.”

The Kentwood High School graduate is the son of Marty and Julie Thueringer and has an older sister, Chelsey, who is 23-years old. Thueringer is a business administration major and will finish up his degree in spring 2011. A successful student, he also recently earned a spot on the Montana Western Dean’s List. Thueringer plans are to utilize his degree by joining his father in the construction business.

The 6’3” senior guard from Kent, Wash. is also in the final stages of a very successful basketball career with the Bulldogs. During his tenure with the men’s basketball team he has experienced three winning seasons and has become a force to be reckoned with in the Frontier Conference.

“In his three years at Montana Western, Cody Thueringer has had a major impact in the resurrection of the Bulldog basketball program,” Head Coach Steve Keller says of Thueringer. “After an 11-19 season the year before he came, Cody has now led the Bulldogs to three consecutive winning seasons and a combined record of 60-31 as well as a national tournament appearance last year.”

During his sophomore year Thueringer averaged 9.5 points per game and made 25 of 68 (.368) of his three-point shot attempts. The team finished 8-6 in the conference, in fifth place, and 15-14 overall. In his second year he averaged 7.4 points per game and made 24 of 71 (.338) of his three-point attempts. The team set a school record for wins in a season, going 25-10 overall and 10-4 in conference play, good for second place.

The Bulldogs also played in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national tournament and defeated Union University from Tennessee 82-79 in the opening round before dropping a hard-fought contest in the second round to Southern Nazarene University (SNU), 81-78. Thueringer scored four points in the opening game and had 10 points in the loss to SNU.

When asked about highlights of his basketball career at Montana Western, the team-oriented Thueringer says last year’s successes stood out.

“My favorite highlights of my basketball experience here would be going to the national tournament and hosting a play-off game at home last year,” Thueringer explains. The experience of playing in Kansas City, Kan. and his team’s success was not lost on Thueringer.

Over the summer he worked hard on getting into the best physical and basketball shape of his life and spent hours on improving his shot. Thueringer’s hard work brought him into his final year of college basketball ready for a big season. Coach Keller says it was easy to see his athleticism and shooting was much improved.

After two years of coming off the bench as a role player for the Bulldogs, Thueringer would be a starter in his senior season and expected to be a go-to player for the Bulldogs.

“Cody is a very fundamental player and one the best defenders on the team,” Keller said of Thueringer at the beginning of the 2010-2011 season. “He will look to score more this year and will start at the 2- or 3-guard position.” Keller says Thueringer definitely lived up to his expectations.

With two important conference games remaining in the regular season, the Bulldogs are 20-7 overall and in a four-way tie for the conference lead at 8-4. Thueringer is averaging 15.2 points per game (sixth in the conference) and has made 58 of 142 (.408) three-point shots. He has scored in double figures in 20 of the team’s 26 games.

During a road trip in November he finished the weekend with a 54-point cumulative effort against the College of Idaho (22 points) and Warner Pacific University (32 points). That outstanding weekend earned him the honor of being chosen the Frontier Conference play of the week.

“Cody is the type of player on and off the floor we strive to have in our program,” Keller adds. “He has been a great leader for us this year as the Bulldogs are in the hunt for a Frontier Conference title. He is self-motivated and worked very hard in the off season to become a pure three-point shooter and improve his athleticism.”

As important as the pursuit of that title is for Keller, Thueringer and the rest of the Bulldog squad, Keller says he is even more proud of Thueringer’s performance in the classroom.

“I am very proud of what Cody has accomplished on the basketball court but also in the classroom,” Keller notes. “He will graduate from Montana Western with a degree in business this spring. I am also proud to say that I have had the opportunity to be Cody’s coach for the past three years. There is no doubt in my mind that Cody will be successful in the real game of life.”