The official season begins tonight for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions men’s basketball team. The Golden Lions will open up their 2017-2018 campaign with a home game against Champion Baptist.

Champion Baptist is located in Hot Springs, and they are a member of the ACCA (Association of Christian College Athletics). The team doesn’t participate in any particular league or conference. Champion Baptist is lead by Head Coach James Manthe.

Last season, UAPB opened their season with a 99-56 win over Champion Baptist. Golden Lions Head Coach George Ivory expressed that this game will be a good measuring stick for his team.

“It will be a good start up game for us,” Ivory said. “We’ll see what we need to work on. We practice against each other so much, so it’ll be good to have a live game.”

Ivory feels good about where the Golden Lions are heading into the season. In the off-season, UAPB addressed their guard play, and in the front court they have guys returning who were productive last season.

The Golden Lions have five seniors this season, and two of them, Trent Steen and Travon Harper, lead the way in the front court.

“I feel real good about where we are,” Ivory said. “I think we’ve improved in a lot of areas. Our guard play will be much improved, and we have veterans coming back. We’re very excited about this team.”

This game against Champion Baptist will give the UAPB fans a chance to see their Golden Lions before they get into the thick of their non-conference schedule. From Nov. 10-Jan. 8 the Golden Lions will play on the road, and their next home game will be Jan. 13 against Southern University.

“Anytime you get a chance to play a game at home its exciting,” Ivory said. “This gives our fans a chance to see us early, and we plan to have a good basketball team. It should be great night.”

Tip off is set for 7 p.m. in H.O. Clemmons Arena