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Montana Western Men’s Basketball Team Volunteers

January 10, 2019

Montana Western Men’s Basketball Team has logged over 120 volunteer hours since Mike Larsen took over as head men’s basketball coach in May 2018.

Mens bball team-in article

Coach Larsen has kept team members engaged with their campus and community. The team helped with the Jaycee Park renovation, move-in day at Montana Western and they continue to actively volunteer at Stepping Stone Preschool once a week.

“We’re not just trying to be good basketball players, we are trying to be good people,” said Larsen.

Montana Western’s block scheduling system offered through Experience One, has allowed Larsen to more effectively reach his program goals. At UMW, courses are taught one at a time for 18 consecutive days.

The flexibility this form of scheduling provides allows Larsen to assign different students to volunteer without interfering with classes, workouts, or practices. He plans to have the team earn more volunteer hours, even during the playing season.

Once during each block, all players, coaches, and student assistants write a letter to someone who has positively impacted their lives.

“We are trying to create an attitude of gratitude among the players,” explained Assistant Coach Patrick Jensen.

Larsen was a successful basketball player throughout high school and college, but declined a professional basketball career to instead serve as assistant coach at Dakota State University (DSU) in Madison, S.D.

For seven years Larsen helped coach the DSU men’s team before he was offered a head coaching position at a different school. Unfortunately at that time, the head coach he was under at DSU was diagnosed with cancer. Larsen turned down the position, feeling it would be best to continue on as assistant coach.

Larsen had to make a tough decision, stating “I can’t preach being a good person if I don’t actually practice it myself.”

Larsen’s mentor and head coach overcame his battle with cancer. When Larsen was approached by Montana Western to be their head coach he accepted the offer and achieved a lifetime goal.

Larsen hopes that the men’s basketball team can lead by example and encourage others to give back to their community.

To reach out to the UMW Men’s Basketball Team, please email [email protected].

For more information about Montana Western’s block scheduling system, please visit the Experience One website.