In 1949, when Grand Canyon College opened in Prescott, Ariz., students chose the Antelope as the official mascot in a schoolwide vote before the first basketball season. Thunder throwback Some students wanted an animal mascot that represented the namesake of the university while others wanted it to symbolize Prescott. The finalists were Antelopes and the offbeat “Beasts of Burden,” venerating ...
On November 27, 2012, Grand Canyon University announced that it had accepted an invitation to join Division I’s Western Athletic Conference, effective July 1, 2013
On March 17, 2020, Drew was hired as the head coach of Grand Canyon, replacing Dan Majerle. On March 6, 2021, Drew coached Grand Canyon to its first WAC regular-season championship in school history. A week later, the Antelopes won the WAC tournament championship as well, earning their first trip to the 2021 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament in ...
History of the Antelopes
The Grand Canyon Antelopes are a proud NCAA Division I athletics program with a storied history of success. Founded in 1949, the school has consistently been one of the top teams in its respective conferences, winning numerous conference titles and producing some of college sports’ most iconic names.
Grand Canyon University first fielded an intercollegiate basketball team during the 1949-1950 season and competed as an independent member until 1967, when they joined their first athletic league - The Arizona Intercollegiate Conference (AIC). During this period, GCU won three AIC championships while competing against notable opponents such as Arizona State University and Brigham Young University.
In 1978, Grand Canyon became part of the NCAA's Division II Western Athletic Conference, where they enjoyed tremendous success over nearly two decades, including four WAC titles between 1985 - 1991 under legendary head coach Tom Heinsohn, who is now enshrined in both Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame (1986) & College Basketball Hall Of Fame (2006). In 1996, GCU made another significant jump to join NCAA Division I, where it competes today as part of The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) for all sports except men's soccer, which has played at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation level since 2013.
Over its long history on campus, there have been many successes for Antelope Athletics, ranging from individual awards to team accomplishments that include multiple conference tournament championships across several different leagues throughout their existence, making them one of few schools that can boast such longevity within collegiate athletics' highest level competition! This year marks yet another milestone for Grand Canyon with their inaugural appearance into March Madness after claiming last season’s WAC Tournament title back in 2021 – something no other university from Arizona had ever done before!
So, if you're looking to cheer on your favorite school or want to experience excellent college basketball action, then make sure you check out what exciting events await at Gila River Arena next season! With so much tradition behind them combined with new heights being achieved every day by these student-athletes, there will be plenty more reasons why everyone should become a fanatic about the "Antelopes" nation soon enough.
College Sports Established
Grand Canyon University
1991 - Present / NCAA Division I
1995 - 1998, 2013 - Present / Western Athletic Conference
1991 - 1994 / Independent
Antelopes - The Grand Canyon Antelopes are a college basketball team that has existed since 1949. Over the years, they have developed an impressive following and earned themselves a nickname: The Lopes. But where did this nickname come from?
It turns out that the origin of “Lopes” dates back to when the school first began fielding teams in sports like football and basketball in 1949. When looking for an appropriate mascot, one student suggested using antelopes due to their speed and agility on land – desirable attributes for athletes then! From there, people started referring to any member of these athletic teams simply as “Lope” or "The Lope."
Today, The Lope is still used by fans of Grand Canyon University athletics whenever they refer to any athlete representing them - whether it be men's or women's basketball players or members from other sports teams such as baseball & softball squads. It is sometimes used interchangeably with GCU (e.g., Go Lopes!). This unique moniker has become synonymous with loyalty & passion among students & alumni alike - something we can all appreciate!
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Women's Basketball 0
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.