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UVU hosts players of 25th anniversary of Hutchison-bound UVSC team

Jeff Reinert gathered with players and coaches of his 1995-96 Scenic West title team, celebrating a successful run of a talented crew

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Members of the UVSC basketball team that advanced to Hutchinson, Kansas, 25 years ago pose for a picture at Utah Valley University.

Courtesy Jeff Reinert

It remains one of Utah Valley University’s most successful sports teams. This past week players and coaches gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1995-96 Scenic West championship basketball team that made it to the national championship in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Back then, UVU was known as Utah Valley State College and competed as a junior college.  The head coach was Jeff Reinert, who was a former assistant to Roger Reid at BYU. That team finished 29-6 and had a dominating record against Dixie College, coached by future BYU head coach Dave Rose.

“The team was made up of local kids and other (Latter-day Saint) kids from across the country. They were all so diverse but came together in a short amount of time,” remembers Reinert, now head coach at the College of Southern Idaho.

“The team was led by Scott Benson and Derrick Elliott, two guys that had an unbelievable competitive nature from different backgrounds that loved the game. Other players that joined the group were all winners at their school and champions within the state.”

That Wolverine team ranked as high as No. 3 in the country and is the only UVU team to qualify for Hutchison, losing to the eventual national champion, Sullivan College (Kentucky).

UVU beat national powerhouse Southern Idaho three times in one season. UVSC hadn’t defeated CSI three times in a year ever.

Benson, who earned All-America honors, finished his college career at Colorado State as UVSC finished league play with a 15-3 record. Four assistant coaches would eventually move on to get college jobs the next year and 10 players moved on to play major college hoops.

Here are key players who moved on to extend their careers at the next collegiate level:

Scott Benson – Colorado State

Derrick Elliott – Idaho/Central Washington

Brad Willden – Utah State/Westminster

Mark Michaelis – BYU/Oregon

Jake Fugal – East Carolina

Danny Brotherson – UNLV

Skouson Harker – Oregon

Ryan Lewis – Wagner

Roger Hendrix – Fresno State

Nathan Hallows – Metro State

Here is list of the roster and high schools where they played before signing with UVSC:

In State

Scott Benson, 6-6, So., Taylorsville HS – team captain

Brent Hawkins 6-2, Fr., Alta HS

Brad Willden – 6-5, Fr., Alta HS

Mark Michaelis – 6-10, Fr., Taylorsville HS

Jake Fugal – 6-10, Fr., Mountain View HS

Ryan Lewis – 6-2, So., Mountain View HS

Nathan Hallows – 6-4, Fr., North Sevier HS

Justin Wilkes – 6-1, Fr., Pleasant Grove HS

Out of State

Derrick Elliott, 6-0, So., Seattle, Washington, North Idaho college transfer

Roger Hendrix 6-6, So., Utah State transfer

Danny Brotherson, 6-4, Fr., Bunkerville, Nevada

Mike Marriott, 6-4, Fr., Phoenix, Arizona

Skouson Harker, 6-6, Fr., Canada

Paul Sonnenberg, 6-1, Fr., Chicago, Illinois


Coaches of that memorable UVSC team, then and now. From left: Nate Call, Don Kennedy, Head coach Jeff Reinert, Gib Arnold, Kelly Crosby.

Courtesy Jeff Reinert


Jeff Reinert – Former BYU Ass’t, Simpson College, Nebraska, Oregon State, Fresno State, Santa Margarita Catholic HS, College of Southern Idaho

Nate Call – BYU, Utah Valley

Don Kenney – Utah Valley, Boise State

Gib Arnold – Vanderbilt, Loyola Marymount, USC, Hawaii, Utah Valley, Pepperdine, Boston Celtics (Scout)

Kelly Crosby – Utah Valley, Metro State