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Men's hoops leads good news at Concordia

Irvine Scene

Eagles men's basketball team honored during ring ceremony, which Gliddon and Granado could not attend.

October 13, 2012|By Joe Haakenson

Most of the players from Concordia University's NAIA men's basketball team received their national championship rings earlier this week during a ceremony at the school, but there was one notable player missing.

Cameron Gliddon was the named the NAIA national tournament MVP after the Eagles won the second national crown in school history by winning five consecutive games in six days, culminating with a 72-69 victory over Oklahoma Baptist in the championship game last March.

Gliddon, though, was half a world away in his home country of Australia, where he just began is professional basketball career in the National Basketball League, which includes teams from Australia and New Zealand. Gliddon, who plays for the Cairns Taipans, made his professional debut earlier this week, scoring nine points to go with four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the Taipans' 84-72 victory over the Townsville Crocs.

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"I knew I'd be bringing the ball up a bit if [regular point guard] Jamar [Wilson] was denied and I felt good, surprisingly good, considering it was my first game in the NBL," Gliddon told The Cairns Post. "I got more comfortable in that second and third quarter and hit a three there and really enjoyed it."

Gliddon had to get used to a few things, like playing in front of a bigger crowd, considering CU Arena's capacity is 2,400, as well as differences in the game itself.

"It's a different style of game and, crowd-wise, I came from a small school, so to have nearly 5,000 people cheering and agreeing with you on calls is pretty cool," he said.

Gliddon, who left Concordia as the school's all-time leading three-point shooter, isn't the only former Eagle who missed the ring ceremony because he's playing professionally overseas.

Tommy Granado, who was the team's third leading scorer last season (12.5 ppg) and second leading rebounder (6.7 rpg) is playing for the Gunma Crane Thunders in a professional league in Japan.

Concordia coach Ken Ammann and his team will begin defense of their national title on Nov. 2, but the experience of last season will not be forgotten.

"Our entire coaching staff and team maintained great focus and put forth a great effort to get this done together," Ammann said after winning the title. "Winning [last season] was the most rewarding it has been in a long time. Our seniors were a special group and they did a great job trusting themselves in the tournament. My coaching staff was outstanding in the tournament and all year long."

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