Undefeated Warriors Host Tom Byron Classic

Senior Justin Bessard is averaging nearly 16 points a game for the Warriors

Senior Justin Bessard is averaging nearly 16 points a game for the Warriors

No. 11 Westmont men’s basketball, which has started the season with 12 straight victories, hosts the 44th Annual Tom Byron Classic featuring No. 2 The Master’s University, the University of Calgary in Alberta, and Park University of Arizona, in its first academic year of athletics with hopes for NAIA membership in 2020-21.

The Warriors battle the Dinos of Calgary on Monday, Dec. 30, at 6:30 p.m. and the Park Buccaneers on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 1 p.m. Unfortunately, the Golden State Athletic Conference showdown between Westmont and The Master’s will have to wait until Saturday, Jan. 18.

The Warriors are off to their best start since 1983-84 when the team began the season 18-0, finished with a 31-4 record and reached the semifinals of the NAIA National Tournament.

Coach Jeff Azain and Head Coach John Moore

Coach Jeff Azain and Head Coach John Moore

The tournament honors Tom Byron who, in addition to serving as dean of men at Westmont, coached the Warriors from 1965-71 before dying at the age of 43 from cancer.

“Tom Byron was a man of incredible character and distinction,” says John Moore, Westmont head coach and the tournament’s first MVP as a player in 1977. “Our team can take a great deal of pride in a tournament named for Coach Byron because of the legacy he left at Westmont.”