Tech Tidbits: Grateful for the Opportunity to Play

Jayana Sanders 12-2-2021
Arkansas Tech's Jayana Sanders became the 19th Golden Sun to reach 1,300 career points during ATU's 70-59 win over East Central on Jan. 1.

I haven’t met many people who want to win as much as Arkansas Tech University head women’s basketball coach Dave Wilbers does, but the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the Great American Conference have provided him with a different perspective.

“To be quite honest with you, I’m just very thankful we’re playing,” said Wilbers after the Golden Suns’ 70-59 victory over East Central University on Saturday. “You look across the country and more than half the women’s games were canceled today. These were big conference games all over the country and right here in the GAC. We need a lot of prayers for the health of our team because COVID is very serious right now and spreading fast. When I woke up this morning, I was just thankful we were playing basketball. It’s a day-by-day thing.”

The Golden Suns (6-3 overall, 3-2 GAC) are scheduled to travel to Oklahoma for games against Southern Nazarene University at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 6, and Oklahoma Baptist University at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8.

Live coverage of both games is planned over KCJC 102.3 FM and

ATU’s 11-point win over ECU demonstrated the importance of transition offense for this Golden Suns team. Arkansas Tech finished with a 17-1 edge in fast break points.

“This team can play in the half court, but we’re so athletic we have to run the floor,” said Wilbers. “Give credit to our guards because they were throwing the ball up the floor and our fives were running the floor, which drew a lot of people into the lane and created openings.”

The next game for Arkansas Tech’s men will be their first since Dec. 18. The Wonder Boys’ games against Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Dec. 30 and ECU on Jan. 1 were postponed due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Their contests against Southern Nazarene and Oklahoma Baptist scheduled for this week suffered the same fate.

Seven of the 12 men’s GAC contests and three of the 12 women’s GAC games scheduled for last weekend were postponed due to COVID-19.

Talk to you on the radio. I hope.

Tech Tidbits is a column written by Sam Strasner, ATU director of university relations and radio play-by-play voice for ATU football and basketball.