Lions basketball programs to join UMAC

Courtesy of Finlandia Athletics

Hancock, MI – Finlandia University Director of Athletics Chris Salani announces that the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be added to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) conference schedule for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. This agreement between Finlandia and the UMAC came about due to the odd number of teams in the UMAC with their recent addition of the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

“This scheduling agreement with the UMAC is a very exciting opportunity for not just our men’s and women’s basketball programs, but also for our athletics program and campus community as a whole,” said Chris Salani. “Having the ability to host and welcome UMAC member schools to our campus, who have not been to Hancock before, will hopefully help to further engage Finlandia Athletics with the membership of the UMAC – which we hope will be a catalyst for future developments with the conference.  As we’ve targeted and openly stated previously, it is a future goal of our athletics program to be able to make application to the UMAC for membership, and we see this scheduling opportunity as the first positive step toward our future ambitions with the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference,” said Salani.

“The provisional UMAC affiliation is an exciting move for our basketball program,” said men’s basketball coach Mike O’Donnell. “It helps our student-athletes develop traditional rivals and provides an opportunity for our fans to see us a guaranteed 9 times during a season. We are looking forward to competing in this very competitive conference on an annual basis,” said O’Donnell.

“From a coaches standpoint, playing a conference schedule is rewarding for not only our campus community but our players as well,” said women’s basketball coach Terry Klemett. “There is nothing better than preparing your team night in and night out against quality opponents that will become rivals. It brings a certain energy and intensity to each and every game,” said Klemett.