Staff Editorial: Ringing in a new era for athletics

The basketball season began Sunday night when the Colonials crushed visiting Bowie State at the Smith Center in the men’s basketball exhibition game. The season will continue Tuesday night when the women’s basketball team faces the University of the District of Columbia in an exhibition game Tuesday night and men’s basketball takes on University of Maryland, Eastern Shore Friday.

The fact that it is athletic director Patrick Nero and men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan’s first seasons with the University marks a new era for sports.

Despite all the work they’ve done leading up to this point, the season is truly Nero and Lonergan’s public introduction as leaders in the athletics department. This is a new period in sports for the University, a new period for the men’s basketball team and a new period for Colonials fans.

And it’s time for fans to step up and ring in this new era for all the excitement it brings. ESPN ranked the men’s basketball non-conference schedule as the second-toughest in the Atlantic-10. Lonergan, who is taking the helm of the men’s team after a decade under former head coach Karl Hobbs, will be pointing the team in a new direction, and right now the Colonials can use all the support they can get to come out with a winning record.

Junior guard Lasan Kromah, who was sidelined with an injury last year, is back on the court. Senior guard Tony Taylor, who in many ways carried the team on his back last season, will return with an impressive award to his name: Last month he was the only Colonial named to an A-10 preseason team, becoming the first GW first team pick since 2005.

GW puts a lot of value in its basketball teams, but there is much to be said about the successful seasons other teams have seen this season. The men’s soccer team clinched a share of the A-10 regular season championship at home Sunday, marking retiring head coach George Lidster’s final home game and 200th career win. The women’s volleyball team achieved a bid to the A-10 tournament following a strong season.

With all the on-field and on-court accomplishments GW has seen this season, there’s no better time for the community to come out and support its teams. With strong fan support and new leadership, hopefully the basketball teams will continue the momentum that is carrying this new era of athletics at GW forward.

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