With only just a couple of years under their belt, the University of Jamestown Esports team has seen many wins and nationally ranked players.
The UJ Esports team, consisting of 20 team members, plays video games to compete against schools across the country. The UJ team has three games they compete nationally in this year: UJ are Overwatch, HearthStone, and League of Legends.
Already, the UJ Esports team this year has had a successful season so far with current freshman Zach Torres ranked in the top 200 in America for League of Legends and Vetle Peterson, also a freshman, ranked in the top 400 in America for Overwatch.
Peterson is enjoying his time on the team and, “how close I’ve become with my teammates and how some of them are my best friends.” Peterson and the rest of the Overwatch team has entered the playoffs. All other teams are still in their regular season.
It’s not everyday that we get to witness records being broken.
It’s not everyday that we get to watch a hometown hero develop into a success at the next level.
Fortunately for us here at the University of Jamestown we are able to be a part of something special.
Senior guard for the UJ Men’s Basketball Team Jon Purintun has become a household name in the Jamestown community after pulling together an impressive final season for the Jimmies. Jon continues to impress and show that he belongs here at UJ as the Jimmies continue to keep on winning.
Jon Purintun hails from a small town in North Dakota called Linton. Jon had a successful career as a Linton Lion there and had hopes of being able to continue his basketball playing career in college. It was the University of Jamestown that gave Jon the chance to do just that. UJ offered him a scholarship and the rest is history.
This year Jon has been a driving force in many of the Jimmie victories. Jon has averaged approximately 20 points per game to go along with 4 assists and 4 rebounds per game. Jon is shooting 58.2% from the field, 38.1% from three and 71.1% from the free throw line.
The highlight of the season for Purintun was the rivalry matchup against our neighbors Valley City. Purintun was red hot offensively as he went on to break the single-game scoring record for UJ that was previously held by Brent Offerdahl. 45 points became the new record and Purintun was overjoyed.
“If you would’ve told me that before this game I would break the single-game scoring record, I would’ve told you were crazy,” Purintun said after his historic night. Purintun also added, “ It just makes it all the more better that it was against our rivals.”
The Jimmies beat Valley City 87-73 that night.
On Wednesday November 14th, Purintun surpassed 1,000 points in his career. This game was also against the Vikings from Valley City. Currently, Purintun has 1,489 total points for his career. Those 1,489 points put Jon at 11th on the all-time scoring list for Jamestown, with the potential to break the top ten by the end of this season.
Purintun also has the potential to break another record here at UJ, which would be the single-season scoring record. He currently sits at fourth on that list. The record is held currently by Jake Holen with 687 points. Right now, Purintun sits at 633 points.
Tucked behind a Cash Wise in Jamestown, North Dakota, Jack Brown Stadium has the feeling of a small-town ballpark with big city history.
Originally known as McElroy Park, this ball field was originally built in 1917 when Jamestown Parks and Recreation gave it the name McElroy Park to commemorate Charles McElroy, a loyal worker for Jamestown Parks and Rec.
During that time, Jack Brown Stadium was still named McElroy Park, the Negro League Semi-Pro teams called the park home. Some big names came with it too. I consulted Coach Tom Hager of the University of Jamestown Jimmies Baseball team on the rich history of the Stadium, “Satchel Page played there.”
Page played for Bismarck’s Semi-Pro team while Jamestown had their own noteworthy pitcher, Lefty Brown. Even Hall of Famer Lefty Grove graced that magical field during the off season after winning a World Series with the Athletics. Other noteworthy players include Jamestown High School alumni and World Series Champion (2002) Darin Erstad and Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland.
1937 closed the chapter of Semi-Pro ball at McElroy park. Amateur baseball took off right where Semi-Pro baseball left off and then American Legion Baseball came along in the Late 40’s and has stayed all the way to the present.
In 1991, McElroy Parks wooden stands were burnt to the ground, the crime was never solved. But it is always the darkest before the dawn, because by 1992, Jack Brown Stadium was born, and rebuilt to resemble the exact stands that had stood there for 80+ years.
The University of Jamestown Jimmies, Jamestown High School Blue Jays, and legion teams in the area call Jack Brown Stadium home nowadays. The cleats of young ball players touching the same dirt and grass that some of the greats touched as well. The rich history cast over this beautiful ball park gives one an eerie feeling of past, present, and future.
“I have played in some beautiful ballparks all over this country, but none of them gives me the feeling that I have here. -Darin Erstad” (Berg, 1996, p. 13).
On Sunday, February 17th, students from the UJ Samaritans Feet Global Ambassadors (SFGA) handed out shoes to children in need.
Over 140 children were signed up to receive new shoes that were collected by UJ students. The event was held in the Harold Newman Arena where children had their feet washed by students and received brand new socks and shoes.
More than 300 pairs of new shoes were collected by SFGA through student collection and donations at the Jimmie Men’s basketball barefoot game. Once at the HNA children were greeted by SFGA members who brought them to a washing station where a UJ student washed the child’s feet and helped them put on a new pair of socks and shoes. Children were then given the chance to test out their new shoes on the HNA court by shooting hoops or jumping rope with Jimmie SFGA members.
“The highlight of my day was when I brought a little girl a pair of Frozen shoes and her face lit up when she saw them and screamed ‘Elsa!’ and was so happy after.” Said Katlyn Buethner, SFGA treasurer.
This was the second annual Samaritan’s Feet shoe distribution that UJ has hosted, but this was the first year that UJ has been an official university chapter of the Samaritans Feet organization. SFGA has over 60 members, making it the largest student organization on campus. Not only is SFGA a huge accomplishment for UJ, but it is also the first student organization that Samaritan’s Feet has ever had.
Samaritan’s Feet was founded in 2003 by Manny Ohonme, who grew up in Nigeria and received his first pair of shoes at the age of nine. This gift was one of the motivating factors that pushed him to pursue basketball, which ultimately landed him an athletic scholarship to a school in North Dakota. After his graduation he formed Samaritan’s Feet to try to help other children receive the same gift that he was given back in Nigeria. Since its establishment Samaritan’s Feet has distributed 6.8 million pairs of shoes to children in need.
Children who pre-registered but weren’t able to attend the distribution will still be getting their shoes, as SFGA members packed up shoes and socks for each child that was signed up. These shoes will be distributed to the appropriate school districts by SFGA members, to ensure that every child that needs shoes receives them.
The goal of Samaritan’s Feet is to help create a world where no child has to go without shoes, and it is clear after Sunday’s successful distribution that UJ is helping to make strides towards reaching that goal. SFGA is currently still accepting members and is in the process of planning a mission trip for the summer.
If you would like to get involved, contact Dr. Thorlakson.
If you’ve seen Lavale Coleman around campus, you would probably say he’s just a laid back cool basketball player.
What many don’t know is the struggles that he has faced throughout the years to get him to Jamestown.
As a 6’4 forward for the Jimmies, Coleman has yet to get on the court to display his basketball genius due to a foot injury he suffered last fall after the alumni game. He would go on to have surgery right after and has been rehabbing ever since that day.
After foot surgery, if you are comfortable enough with no swelling or pain in your foot, you are allowed to participate in team activities again. That could take up to 6-8 months or maybe even a year. In Lavale’s case, it’s going to be a year before he’s back doing basketball activities.
Lavale is from San Diego, California where his love for basketball began. His family moved to Arizona where he knew it was time for him to start taking his basketball skills and putting them to use. He attended three high schools while in Arizona; Deer Valley, Willow Canyon, and the basketball powerhouse Hillcrest prep. There at Hillcrest prep is where Lavale started to get more notoriety for his skills on the court and got a preferred walk-on spot at a Division 1 school where he redshirted his freshman campaign.
He would then go onto play for Palomar Community College for two years where he would average 14 pts/7 ast/4 reb as a freshman and 16.5 pts/8 ast/5 reb for his sophomore season. Lavale was all conference as a freshman and all state the following year.
He ended up signing with the Jimmies last spring to play basketball at the Division 2 level where he believes his experience at the Division 1 level will propel him here at Jamestown.
You won’t see Lavale with a sad face or not cheering his teammates on while in the racing for the GPAC Conference Title and the National Championship. He will always be smiling and giving the best team spirit he could give knowing that his teammates wishes he was out there with them.
Look for Lavale Coleman to make a big comeback in the 2019-2020 season when he’ll finally get to show his basketball genius.
Rainbows, and Cookies, and Signing the Banner, A Trans comedian that fill us with laughter, Students in Drag Shows and fun Q & A’s, These are a few of Lovefest’s favorite things!
The University of Jamestown’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) is an organization that gives LGBTQA+ students and allies a place where they can come together to support and celebrate the LGBTQA+ community.
Each year SAGA hosts a week long celebration of this community called “Lovefest.” This celebration allows for SAGA to create fun events that engage students in the LGBTQA+ community and raises awareness for it.
This year’s Lovefest ran February 18th through February 22nd. The week included the following schedule:
Monday: LGBT-Q&A and Trivia
Tuesday: Rainbow Day and Cookie Decorating
Wednesday: Signing of a Banner to show support
Thursday: Trans Comedian Jeffrey Jay
Friday: Drag Pageant
Monday’s event was set up to allow students to ask SAGA members about the LGBTQA+ community and to participate in a round of LGBTQA+ trivia during one of the University of Jamestown’s monthly Trivia Knights.
Tuesday’s event allowed students to engage with SAGA students while having fun and creating something tasty.
Wednesday’s event helped to show tangible support of the LGBTQA+ community.
Thursday gave students an opportunity to have some laughs and ask Trans Comedian Jeffrey Jay questions about the LGBTQA+ community.
Friday gave students an opportunity to participate or watch their fellow Jimmies participate in a Drag Pageant. The winners of Mr. and Mrs. Love, and $50 Walmart gift cards, were Dane Jessen and Taylor Niehaus. The Crowd Pleaser award, a $25 Walmart gift card, was won by SAGA’s President Paul Kurtti.
To close the week off, when asked about what Lovefest meant to him, Paul said, “Lovefest is a week out of the year where the members of SAGA and I can celebrate our sexuality and gender, as well as celebrate with everyone on campus to.”