Former NIAC Athlete Competes On NBC Show “Strong”

Jill May, former athlete at Oak Hills Christian College, has reached the final three of the NBC show “Strong”. May, a member of the 1999-2000 MCCAA (now known as the MCAC) Women’s BB Championship team at Oak Hills Christian College, has used the tenacity she exhibited on the court to flourish in this grueling competition.  Paired with her tenacious personal trainer (Bennie Wylie), Team Blue has survived several weeks of heart stopping fitness challenges as the field has been trimmed from ten to three. “Strong” airs Thursday nights on NBC at 7:00 pm (Central).  On behalf of the NIAC Conference, we wish Jill May the very best and proudly proclaim, “Go Team Blue”!!!  (Visit for more information on the show “Strong”.)

“The Blue Team”

As summer quickly approaches, you might want to consider adding a recently published basketball book to your reading list. The Blue Team, written by Peter Young, former basketball player at George Washington University, is a story that chronicles the life of Thomas Conner, a fictional player that has perfected the art of the jump shot. In trying to prove he can play like his hero, the great Larry Bird, leads to disaster for Thomas.

With the season and his career hanging in the balance, Thomas must identify and conquer his greatest enemy.  If he can, he and his George Washington University teammates might just become the next NCAA Cinderella story.

Who is an athlete’s greatest adversary?  The guy trying to block your shot?  The teammate who won’t pass the ball?  The coach who won’t play you enough?  Someone else?  And without knowing the answer is it even possible to achieve the peace of mind that legendary coach John Wooden says comes with success?

The Blue Team is about more than just basketball.  It is a story about fathers and sons, finding our true identity, falling in love, and incorporates a religious theme that demonstrates God’s redemptive power.

Dan Hovestol, NIAC President, has read The Blue Team and strongly endorses Young’s work; “When I began reading Peter’s book, I wasn’t planning on devouring its words in such a quick helping.  The book effectively brought me into its story line and left me anticipating each word on the page.  I was surprised how quickly I finished reading The Blue Team and am already looking forward to Young’s next book.”

Other endorsements of Young’s book include:

Norm Sonju, Co-founder and retired President/GM, Dallas Mavericks: “I got so absorbed that I read it in just two days.”

Mike Jarvis, Author, speaker and former head coach , George Washington and St. John’s: “I laughed, I cried, and cheered as the story behind the story unfolded.  The book spoke to my heart and most of all it spoke to my soul.  When it ended, I wanted more.”

For more information on The Blue Team and to subscribe to Peter Young’s Tip of the Week, feel free to visit

Further NIAC Expansion On The Horizon?

As the 2015-16 NIAC regular season and post-season tournament are in the books, off season focus has quickly turned towards the long term plan for conference sustainability and expansion. Once an eight team conference, the NIAC has seen a lot of change over the years. With college closures, dropping of athletic programs and program departures to other conferences/affiliations, the conference has often faced an annual state of evolution.

While the competitive balance has remained strong within the conference, the need for additional colleges that have both men’s and women’s programs has been a primary focus of attention for Dan Hovestol, NIAC President for the past 15 years.

“While our sights have been focused on re-establishing an eight team conference as in years past, I believe there’s potential for even further growth for the Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. With the additions of Cankdeska Cikana Community College and Canadian Mennonite University in 2016-17, we feel we’re well on our way to making the eight team conference a reality.”blazers

Hovestol continued, “That said, we’ve now begun to explore the idea of future expansion towards a bigger and more robust conference. Preliminary conversations have been conducted with potential college additions and the process of geographical and “good fit” analysis are underway. Regardless of what happens with expansion efforts, it’s truly an exciting “new day” for our conference. More league teams will create a more competitive regular season schedule and will create a larger and more exciting bracket for our post season tournaments. While schedule expansion and greater visibility for our colleges is beneficial for all of our programs, we feel being progressive in future plans ultimately best serves the people we place at the forefront of our attention; our student athletes.”

Stay connected to the NIAC website for future conference news and notes. It should be exciting to see how things shake out for the NIAC conference in the years ahead!

2016 NIAC Awards Announced

Coach of the Year (Men) – Tim Sowden (AFLBS)

Coach of the Year (Women) – Rachael Nowell (TBC)

Player of the Year (Men) – Sean Jay (TMCC)

Player of the Year (Women) – Jaylen Newman (TBC)

All Conference – (Men)

Aaron Arneson (AFLBS)
Travis Haugen (AFLBS)
Chris Papillon (AFLBS)
Jeremy O’Brien (LLTC)
Ezekiel Cook (OHCC)
Friscoe Erdahl (TBC)
Jaden Shockley (TBC)
Aaron Stemen (TBC)
Kolten Keplin (TMCC)
Dante Pearson (TMCC)

Honorable Mention –

Travis Dow (LLTC)
Aiden Guthrie (OHCC)

All Conference – (Women)

Katie Berge (AFLBS)
Ciara Fineday (LLTC)
Justine Jourdain (LLTC)
Janae Droste (TBC)
Rebecca Olsson (TBC)
Shayian Davis (TMCC)
Claudia Santiestban (TMCC)
Whitney Wallette (TMCC)

Honorable Mention –

Amy Pflughaupt (AFLBS)
Daniell Jourdain (LLTC)
Tonya Morris (LLTC)
Shakiya Chase (TMCC)


NIAC Expands “North Of The Border”

NEWS RELEASE: (2/5/16) The Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) continues expansion of conference membership by adding a new member college, beginning in 2016-17. Canadian Mennonite University out of Winnipeg, MB was recently approved as the league’s eighth team and only Canadian representative.  CMU will be providing men’s and women’s basketball to league play.


“This is an exciting development for our conference” said Dan Hovestol, NIAC President. “Many of our NIAC colleges have had a longstanding relationship with CMU so bringing them on board as a league member made a lot of sense.  Canadian Mennonite University has a solid athletics program in addition to being an exemplary institution of higher learning. Their inclusion makes our conference immediately stronger.”  The NIAC conference now includes eight institutions from Minnesota, North Dakota and Manitoba.

NIAC Adds New Member College for 2016-17

NEWS RELEASE: (9/22/15) The Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) has added a new member college, beginning in 2016-17. Cankdeska Cikana Community College out of Fort Totten, ND was approved at a recent NIAC Meeting as the newest member college, providing men’s and women’s basketball to league play.bb4

Dan Hovestol, NIAC President, released a statement regarding the merger; “It is with great pleasure that the Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference welcomes Cankdeska Cikana Community College as our newest member institution, beginning with the 2016-17 academic year. Cankdeska was unanimously received as a member which reflects the overall enthusiasm from league schools for the partnership between the NIAC and CCCC.”