Vanguard University Lions Hold 2014 NAIA National Championship Rally

Costa Mesa, CA, March 31, 2014 – Vanguard University will hold the 2014 NAIA Basketball National Championship Rally on Wednesday, April 2 at 10:00am in Vanguard University Gym. The rally will celebrate Vanguard’s first-ever NAIA men’s basketball crown, the women’s basketball team who advanced to the NAIA second round, six NAIA Scholar-Athletes, five NAIA All-Americans, the NAIA Women’s Player of the Year and the NAIA Men’s Coach of the Year.

The men’s hoops victory in the final contest of the 2014 Buffalo Funds-NAIA National Championship game over No. 8-seeded Emmanuel (Ga.) earned VU the title on Tuesday, March 25. In the program’s 64-year history, the 2013-14 Lions are the first squad to earn a Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) regular season and tournament crown in the same year. In addition, the Lions sit as the only team to advance past round two in national tournament play and they are now the all-time VU record holder for the most wins in a single season (32-6).

Days after the NAIA second round game for the women’s basketball team (27-2), Taylor Belmont and Nicole Ballestero were selected as NAIA First Team All-Americans, while Leigha Bednar, Jordie Smith and Taylor Belmont took home NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors. From the men’s team, the NAIA Tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Preston Wynne, and Chris Gorman garnered NAIA First and Second Team All-America recognition, respectively. Swing Chuang, Kirk Sheplay and Preston Wynne were also named as NAIA Scholar-Athletes for the Lions.

The men’s and women’s teams will be celebrated on their home court, surrounded by athletic staff, basketball alumni and parents, university student body and the Orange County community and media. KOCE co-anchor, Ed Arnold, will emcee the commemorative rally, as Vanguard University president, Dr. Mike Beals, and women’s basketball coach, Russ Davis, and men’s coach, the 2014 NAIA Coach of the Year, Rhett Soliday, will also take the stage.

Can’t make it to the rally? Watch a live stream of the event on:

To learn more about Vanguard University’s Athletics program, visit

Event Details:
2014 NAIA Basketball National Championship Rally
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
10:00AM – 11:00AM
Vanguard University Gym
55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

To request an interview, contact:
Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications
55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626



The Intercollegiate Athletic Program at Vanguard University is dedicated to the holistic growth and development of all student athletes, teaching them to lead Christ-centered lives on and off the field of competition. The program encourages a high standard of academic and athletic excellence that embraces character building. Along with the specific-sports instruction, the department seeks significance by providing the student athlete with the knowledge to impact his/her world through a lifetime of service to Christ.

The Vanguard Lions are leaders of character emulating Christ through faithfulness and selflessness, while passionately educating and influencing others to change the culture of sport. Learn more at



Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-focused leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 10 regional college in the west for 2014 and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2014 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit


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