Basketball and business make for strong friendship

By Viv Helwig |

When you think of Business Professor Lou Preysz and Men’s Basketball Coach Bo Clark you think of two men in separate fields, with separate goals, and separate backgrounds.

Preysz, an ex-military man who reached the rank of Captain, and Clark, an “ex-gunner” who ended his college basketball career as the all-time leading scorer for UCF, have more in common than first meets the eye. Under the surface, they both are men of faith, like to keep things lively by constantly cracking jokes, and have banners hanging in the Flagler gym.

Clark has won numerous men’s basketball conference tournaments in the Florida Sun Conference while Preysz has won a number of National Case Team Competitions as the adviser of Flagler College Society for Advancement of Management (SAM). They have both been recognized multiple times as Coach of the Year and Advisor of the Year within their separate organizations.

Those that have attended Flagler home games have seen Preysz sitting at the end of the bench, not because of his mean jump shot, but because he has served as chaplain to the men’s basketball team for 14 years. Preysz offers an optional chapel before each home game, which players can attend to hear a short message and join Preysz in prayer.

When Clark was asked about the importance of chapel and his relationship with his friend Lou Preysz, who he affectionately refers to as “John Wooden” because of his championships, Clark said, “The chapel program has been a great inspiration for our players over the years. College students go through a lot of tough periods with family, teammates and friends, and Lou has really inspired the players. I hope he has enjoyed it as much as we have enjoyed having him.”

Clark respects Preysz on a personal level as well.

“Our friendship means a lot to me,” Clark said. “Lou commands great respect in the classroom and is a great role model for not only players but for many students by living a Christian example. It doesn’t come any better than Lou Preysz. If I won seven national titles, I would drive a Mercedes, but Lou drives a Honda.”

Preysz, who has been able to attend various road games over the years, spoke highly of his friend Clark as well.

“I’ve known Bo for almost 26 years and during that time we have been close friends,” Preysz said. “I respect his work ethic but most importantly his relationship with Christ. I know he runs a good basketball program for the college. Win or lose, he always keeps improving his coaching style and it has been a pleasure having him as a friend.”

Preysz will be by the coach’s side when he embarks on the journey to Gainesville to battle the two-time defending national champion Florida Gators on Nov. 1.

“I will make sure to pack my Converse All-Stars in my travel bag just in case Bo calls on me to get in the game against Florida,” Preysz said.

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