HELENA -- The Carroll College men's basketball team was supposed to play in the 2020 NAIA men's basketball national tournament, but unfortunately those plans were derailed due to COVID-19 concerns. The Fighting Saints will have another chance to make the national tournament, but Dane Warp, the program's lone senior, won't get that chance again.
"Initially, it was kind of disappointing. Just knowing that you had played your last game without knowing," said Warp in a phone interview with MTN Sports.
Warp was understandably disappointed with the way things unfolded in his final year of donning the purple and gold, but he was also thankful for all the opportunities basketball presented him.
"At the same time, that initial feeling of disappointment is kind of over-flooded by just being grateful that I was able to go to [the NAIA National Tournament] three times, be a part of some great teams and even get to play basketball in college at all."
Having played his final game for Carroll College, Warp knows he's leaving the program in good shape as he switches gears from a collegiate student-athlete to a prospective med-school student.
"I think the community of Helena has a lot to look forward to. These guys are only going to get better. I think last year's team proved the value of chemistry -- we weren't the most athletic or talented team, but just the fact that we played so many years together," said Warp. "That's just going to keep continuing to build with these young guys. This year, we managed to do great things with very minimal experience playing with each other beforehand. We kind of started to learn it as as we went. These guys got a year under their belt now, and they're just going to keep getting better and better -- individually and then as a group, they're going to understand each other better."
As for what Warp thinks fans will see next year?
"I think there's going to be a ton of winning. There's not going to be any drop off at all," he said.