Feb. 16, 2015

Brandon Applehans
bappleha@uccs.edu

Both Shane Jensen and Tim Haas were teammates at Arapahoe High School for their run to the 5A Colorado State Championship. The story of how they became teammates for the men’s basketball team is one of a kind.

In the 2011-12 season, the two players combined for 39 points per game, five assists and 13 rebounds. Three games before the playoffs, Haas suffered a season-ending injury against Cherry Creek High School.

“After the injury, it just made me realize how fast the season went by,” said Haas. “My senior season went by real quick. Getting hurt made my year just that much shorter.”

Jensen and the team rose to the occasion and made it to the 5A Colorado State Championship game, where they lost to Chaparral high school.

After high school, Jensen went on to play at Fort Lewis College and Haas hung up his jersey in order to be a student at Colorado State University.

As the two former Arapahoe players went through their freshmen year, something was missing. Haas would soon visit UCCS for basketball, in December of his freshmen year, while Jensen was playing with the Skyhawks.

After Jensen’s freshmen season, the news that Haas would be a Mountain Lion sparked his interest in playing for UCCS.

“Tim said he was committing to UCCS before I did,” said Jensen. “We both were thinking about it at the same time. That just added onto the reasons that I wanted to come here.”

Haas welcomed the challenge and was grateful for the opportunity to play Division II Basketball.

“Honestly, I was just looking anywhere for an opportunity to play,” said Haas. “It’s pretty tough to pick it up again after a year without playing. Tim Billingsley talked with me, put me in touch with Coach Culver, and that was my shot.”

Jensen was redshirted for the 2013-14 season and Haas helped the Mountain Lions in their late season run. In the 2014-15 year, both former Arapahoe Warriors have made an imprint on games this season.

This season Jensen is averaging 3.5 points and 2 rebounds in just 10 minutes per game, as Haas adds 3.8 points and 1.9 rebounds in 11 minutes per game. Both players feel fortunate to be where they are.

“I feel very lucky,” said Jensen. “Not a lot of teams are in the situation we are in. I feel lucky, but at the same time I know we have all put in the hard work. Our whole lives we’ve been waiting for this moment.”

“I think it is important to look at the big picture and appreciate what we have,” added Haas. “Sometimes it’s easy to overlook how fortunate we are here in Colorado Springs.”

This year five seniors will graduate, leaving openings for the two Arapahoe alumni to make their mark once again.