The California School of Podiatric Medicine (CSPM) men’s basketball team won this year’s national tournament, cementing a mini-legacy at Samuel Merritt University (SMU) that few in the podiatry ranks would have predicted a few years ago.
Informally known as the “Warriors,” the CSPM team beat Florida’s Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery 73-58.
The victory marks the third year in a row that CSPM has brought home the championship plaque from the American Podiatric Medical Students’ Association national tournament.
Since winning its first national title in 2016, the CSPM team has never lost the competition among the country’s nine podiatric medicine universities.
Six team members remain from the original winning squad, including Lance Reeves, CSPM class of 2018, who led all scorers with 22 points at this year’s championship game.
“We just have all become close and love getting together to play basketball,” says Brian Kuklok, class of 2019, regarding their recent run of success.
The Warriors’ spirit of camaraderie provides a nice break from classes and rotations, and also helps build their teamwork skills off the court as well.
“Interacting as teammates, working hard together, and being able to communicate with our peers will help us succeed later down the road,” says Lowell Tong, class of 2019.
The tournament took place March 16-17 and was hosted by the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago.
“Our team has players from all over the country — as far away as Michigan,” says Austin Vonasek, class of 2019. “So it has been cool to see basketball bring us together.”
Following in the footsteps of the Golden State Warriors, the CSPM Warriors have brought basketball pride to Oakland.