Vanguard University Lions Win First NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship

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Vanguard (32-6) becomes the third school from the Golden State to win NAIA Division I.

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It feels amazing. We just praise God. We said before this game, win or lose, that we're going to give Him the glory, because He made this a special season.

Sixth-seeded Vanguard (Calif.) captured its first-ever NAIA Men's Basketball National Championship with a 70-65 win over No. 8-seeded Emmanuel (Ga.), Tuesday evening in the championship game of the 2014 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in Municipal Auditorium.

Vanguard (32-6) becomes the third school from the Golden State (Concordia, San Diego State) to win a NAIA Division I crown and gives the school its second national championship in any sport, joining the women’s basketball team’s title from 2008. Emmanuel (33-4) also claimed its first spot in the championship game in its fourth all-time appearance in the tournament, falling to 4-4 in its history.

Championship's Most Valuable Player, Preston Wynne, led the way for Vanguard with 20 points and six rebounds, while all-tournament honoree junior guard Chris Gorman added 18 points and five rebounds as the backcourt duo combined to hit all nine of their free throws. Junior forward Keith Mason chipped in with 11 points and shared game-high honors with 13 rebounds. Freshman forward Zach Allmon also pulled down 11 rebounds for Vanguard, which finished with a 49-47 edge on the glass.

“It feels amazing. We just praise God,” said Vanguard head coach Rhett Soliday, who also won a national championship as an assistant coach at Concordia (Calif.) in 2003. “We said before this game, win or lose, that we’re going to give Him the glory, because He made this a special season. This game doesn’t define our season and it doesn’t define Emmanuel’s season. We just happened to be on the winning end tonight.”

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

Read the full story from tonight’s NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship game here:

*Parts of this release taken from

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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Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications
Vanguard University Athletics
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