TBT’s ‘We Are D3′ finds support from Shocker alum

"We Are D3" prepares for TBT in Wichita West High School's gym.
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 6:59 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Back for year two, ‘We Are D3′ has found a home at Wichita West High School as the team prepares in the Pioneers gym during the week leading up to the TBT.

A cross-country connection has led to this unlikely partnership. Last summer, We Are D3′s head coach, Mike Regniak called every high school in Wichita looking for a gym his team could practice at leading up The Basketball Tournament.

“Maybe about three of the were getting their gyms re-done and about two more were on vacation,” said Mike Regniak who is also the team’s general manager.

Wichita West’s athletic director, David Clark is also an assistant coach for ‘We are D3′. Clark said, “He sent it to a lot of people and he said I was the only one to respond. I saw his phone number, it was a Massachusetts area code, so I picked up the phone and called him. We made a connection because we grew up near each other in Massachusetts.”

Clark has lived in Wichita since graduating from WSU in 1993, making him a die-hard shocker fan which makes his role as an assistant coach for a rival team, a sticky position to be in.

“It’s going to be a real challenge emotionally because I’ve sat in the stadium, Koch Arena for so many years supporting the Shockers and I love those guys. It’s just going to be a weird feeling,” said Clark.

“It’s easy for me because I’m from New York, he lives here. So every body in Wichita please don’t egg his house! But to be honest, the Wichita fan base, everything I’ve witnessed has been nothing but class, they love their basketball,” said Regniak.

Both Clark and Regniak know this group of ex-division three basketball players will face a hostile environment at Koch Arena on Friday night.

“It’s going to be ruckus, it’s going to be so loud and we cannot replicate that crowd noise here so we’ll have to play through a lot of adversity,” said Clark.

“We will always be David in this David versus Goliath thing and what’s a bigger Goliath than playing in front of 15 billion fans in Koch Arena? So, I knew that was probably going to happen,” joked Regniak.

The Aftershocks and ‘We Are D3′ will face each other in the first round this Friday night at 8 p.m.

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