St. Katherine College was never going to beat UNLV when the two teams played at Orleans Arena on Friday night.
Players from both teams went into the game secure in that knowledge.
It was essentially a practice for the Rebels and a chance for the Firebirds to gain a valuable learning experience on the court and bring some money into the fledgling school’s coffers.
The game also provided an opportunity for Basic High School alum Jaylen Rose to play a college game in Las Vegas.
“It was great coming home. The excitement of seeing my friends and family made it real fun,” said Rose, who had about 20 friends and family in attendance. “It was kind of surreal. I had to soak in the moment for a little bit.
“Then I had to get ready to play.”
Rose may have been a bit overanxious.
He was 1-for-8 from the floor and missed both of his 3-point attempts. He finished with two points, a rebound, a steal and a turnover in 22 minutes.
The freshman is enjoying his experience at the tiny school that sits just north of San Diego.
Rose cited the atmosphere in San Marcos, Calif., and particularly the weather, for his positive experience.
Life hasn’t always been easy for his basketball team on the court. St. Katherine is playing an incredibly difficult schedule for a young program on the low levels of college athletics.
That has led to several blowout losses, including on Friday night.
“It’s tough at times, but we’re just getting ready for our divisional games. All of these Division 1 opponents have great athletes and it just helps us get ready,” he said. “It makes us closer in the end.”
St. Katherine has another opportunity to play a Division 1 opponent tonight when the Firebirds travel to Cedar City to play Southern Utah.
Regardless of the outcome, Rose is looking forward to the experience.
“I just love playing with my teammates,” he said.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.