Utah Valley coach Mark Madsen reacts during a men’s college basketball game against BYU at the UCCU Center in Orem on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (UVU Courtesy Photo)
Utah Valley head coach Mark Madsen has announced that NBA Academy Latin America standout Joao Das Chagas has signed to play with the Wolverines.
“I am extremely excited to welcome Joao to Utah Valley University,” said Madsen. “When Todd Okeson and I first saw Joao in San Luis de Potosi, Mexico, we were impressed with his feel for the game and his unique skill for a big man. Joao is an imposing and physical player who also has the ability to stretch the floor and knock down shots. Joao will be a key piece for this program going forward. We are excited to embrace him into the community and welcome him with open arms.”
Das Chagas, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward/center from Brazil, played in the NBA Academy Latin America. NBA Latin America is an elite basketball training program for top prospects from throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and Canada. NBA Academy Latin America is based at the La Loma Centro Deportivo in the La Loma region of Mexico City. The Niquelândia, Brazil native will join the Wolverines for the 2022-23 season as a freshman.
Utah Valley University men’s basketball head coach Mark Madsen and his staff will be hosting a coaching clinic on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 9-11:30 a.m. at the NUVI Basketball Center on the UVU campus. All high school and AAU coaches are invited to attend. The cost of the clinic is $35, which will include lunch. “I am honored to announce that Jeff Judkins will be our keynote speaker for this year’s UVU coaches’ clinic,” said Madsen. “Jeff will speak in depth about building a team culture and share key insights on X’s and O’s.” Former BYU women’s basketball head coach Jeff Judkins will be the keynote speaker. Judkins has more Division I wins than any coach in the history of the State of Utah. He led his team to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, including two trips to the Sweet 16. Judkins recorded an impressive 13 20-win seasons. “I first met coach Judkins almost 30 years ago when he was an assistant at the University of Utah,” said Madsen. “He is one of the best coaches in the history of Utah basketball. Coach Judkins played a key role in building the University of Utah men’s team which competed in the national championship against Kentucky in 1996. What Juddy did in terms of building the BYU women’s basketball team into a national power is something that impressed me immensely, and to do it year in and year out is legendary. I am honored to have him as our keynote speaker.” Madsen is a two-time NBA champion, former Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, and a Stanford Athletics Hall of Famer. He is entering his fourth year as the head coach of the Utah Valley men’s basketball program. Madsen led his Utah Valley to a 20-win season last year, finishing with a 20-12 overall record. His team finished its home slate with an impressive 11-2 record, which included a 72-65 overtime win over 12th-ranked crosstown rival BYU. The win over BYU marked the team’s first-ever win over a nationally ranked opponent. Madsen has led the Wolverines to an impressive 19-6 record at home over the past two seasons. Madsen’s team also upset Pac-12 foe Washington on the road in Seattle last season. The win marked UVU’s third win over a team from a Power 6 conference. Utah Valley won the SoCal Challenge championship last season, defeating both Idaho and Nicholls State to claim the championship trophy in San Juan Capistrano, California. Madsen’s team went a 9-3 in non-conference play in 2022, which included wins over Pepperdine, Long Beach State, Idaho, Nicholls State, Denver, No. 12 BYU, and Washington. Those interested in signing up for the UVU coaches’ clinic can register at GoUVU.com/CoachesClinic. For more information, contact Stephen Rodgers at 803-528-8343 or at Stephen.rodgers@uvu.edu.
Utah Valley baseball’s Andrew Walling signed with the Philadelphia Phillies this summer.
Walling signed with the Wolverines as a transfer from Mississippi State and was one of the most sought-after transfers in the country. Walling attended Eastern Oklahoma State College, where he went 10-2 record with a 2.45 ERA while striking out 107 hitters in 69.2 innings to earn All-American honors. He spent one season at Mississippi State and had signed with Utah Valley for the upcoming 2023 season.
When looking for a good fit, Walling explained why UVU stood out as an excellent option for a fresh start in his baseball career.
“The coaching staff is one I trust undoubtedly and one who cares genuinely about their players, with that alone, they are on the way to creating a winning culture.”
UVU head coach Eddie Smith said, “He was one of the top transfers in the country, and we could not wait to welcome him to Utah Valley, but we understood that he is at an age and time in his life that it is best for him is to take this opportunity with Philadelphia and begin his professional baseball career.”
The Wolverines are building a program on the rise after seeing the total win increase from 2021 to 2022 and significant improvements offensively and defensively.
Walling explained some of the reasons why UVU was an excellent fit for him.
“Baseball is trending up at UVU in recent years, and there almost isn’t a better scenery to play in. The facilities were perfect for arriving and continuing my baseball development. I could not have felt better about my choice to attend Utah Valley and continue my college career.”
Utah Valley has started fall practice for the 2023 season. They will play Colorado Mesa in a scrimmage in October before closing the fall practice with the three-game Wolverine World Series.
The 2023 season will begin on February 17, 2023, with an opponent that will be announced in the coming weeks.
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