CWU basketball welcomes Gary Payton back to PNW with beating

CWU basketball welcomes Gary Payton back to PNW with beating

Jared Galanti, Sports Editor

The CWU men’s basketball team hosted Lincoln University Friday Oct. 29 for their first exhibition game of the season. However, this was no ordinary exhibition game as Lincoln’s head coach is none other than legendary Seattle Sonics player Gary Payton.  

Payton, the former NBA champion and nine time NBA all star, played for the Sonics from 1990-2003 before playing for four other teams before calling it a career after the 2007 season. 

“The Glove”, which is a nickname Payton was given due to his defensive prowess, averaged 18.2 points, 7.4 assist and 2.1 steals per game while in Seattle. He along with Shawn Kemp led the Sonics to the 1996 finals in which they would lose in five games to the Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan. 

Payton’s presence didn’t help his team on Friday. The Wildcats took care of business with a comfortable 90-72 win. 

Four Wildcat players, including sophomore guard Shayden Knight who led the team with 18 points, had double digit scoring efforts. 

Senior guard Xavier Smith put up 17 points while going 7-10 from the field and junior guard Micah Pollard helped with 16 points while shooting 6-9 from the field.

On defense the Wildcats held Lincoln to seven points off turnovers while they scored 16 points off of Lincoln’s 14 turnovers. 

The Wildcats will head to Seattle on Thursday Nov. 4 for their second exhibition of the season when they take on the Washington Huskies at 7:00 p.m.