HOUSTON , December 5, 2008 — In its inaugural season, the University of Phoenix – Houston campus men's basketball team stunned the Lone Star College Sports League by recently taking home the championship title. Made up of current University students who are earning their associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees, the team beat Houston Community College 51-40.

The University's basketball team won victories against local favorites Rice University and University of St. Thomas to secure a place in the playoffs and then defeated Lone Star College and last year's champs University of Houston-Downtown.

In addition to winning the championship title, the University's basketball team was awarded with two more honors during the playoffs: Best Offensive Player for Kendall Simon, a bachelor's student in business management, and Best Defensive Player for Willie Owens, a bachelor's student in business information systems.

"We are so proud of our basketball team," said Christina Robinson Grochett, University of Phoenix – Houston Vice President and Campus Director. "Not only did they work hard on the basketball court this season but, as working professionals, they also balanced their studies with their careers and family obligations."�

Known for its leadership in higher education that serves a diverse student population from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online, Houston is the first University of Phoenix campus to create a sports team for its students. Head Coach Robert Pinkney, who also trains amateur high school basketball, and a couple of University staff members all volunteered their time to help cultivate a unique initiative for the Houston campus.

"Our students are proud of their alma mater and wanted to show off their pride by representing a sports team," Grochett said. "Since the men's team did so well, we are currently in the process of creating a women's basketball team as well as bringing back the men's team next year."�


In 2001, University of Phoenix entered the Texas market by opening its first campuses simultaneously in Dallas and Houston. While the initial graduating class totaled just over 200 students, the school experienced record growth in enrollment in the area. As a result, the University has expanded to four campus and learning center locations in the Clear Lake, West Loop, Northwest and downtown areas of Houston. In addition, the University will be launching two student resource center and learning center locations in the Sugarland and Woodlands area next year.

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As of August 31, 2008, 362,100 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world.


Wendy Paul