NAIA Player Spotlight: Isiah Saenz – Bethany College
One of the great things about the NAIA level are the amount of success stories from players who didn’t know what the NAIA was before being recruited by a NAIA program. This was the case for Isiah Saenz from Bethany College. Who admitted to us that he had no clue what NAIA, nor the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) was before being recruited by Bethany (KS) College.
Isiah is a 5’9 Senior from San Antoinio, Texas. He played at San Anthony Catholic High School, which was a small private high school. He wasn’t a big time recruit, so he was appreciative of the relationship he had built up with Coach Dan O’Dowd during the recruiting process. Coming from a small, private high school Bethany College was the perfect fit for Isiah, because he loved the small town environment, and the community support. With Coach O’Dowd being a Bethany Alum, Isiah listened to how passionately he talked about the college.
The Senior-to-be has already had quite the career at Bethany. In his first three seasons, Isiah was named to the All-KCAC Freshman team, he’s been an All-KCAC Honorable Mention member, and he’s surpassed the 1,000 point scoring mark with 1,070 career points. Isiah has also tied the school record for three pointers made in a career with 213. As a a Junior, last year, Isiah averaged 15.3 PPG, 3.8 APG, 3.6 RPG, 2 SPG, while hitting 85 3’s at a 35.3% clip. He broke the school record for steals in a game with 7, in the teams win against #16 Oklahoma Wesleyan. A game in which Isiah says is his favorite moment, thus far, as a student-athlete.
The KCAC is always one of the top NAIA leagues in the country, and Isiah has been a thorn in the side of many opponents within the league. He says that he respects how much talent is in the KCAC, and NAIA, and he encourages kids to go ahead and sign at an NAIA program if given the opportunity. That there is no reason to wait out “bigger” levels, especially if a NAIA program is making you feel like a priority. Isiah is a very family oriented person, who is appreciative of the support that he gets from his mother and brother. He’s enjoyed his success at Bethany College, but is eager to get back to campus to see the new floor, and to hopefully get the Swedes back to having a winning season! He is very appreciative of Bethany College for making him a better student, and preparing him for life after college. While he wouldn’t mind playing professionally after college, he is excited to finish his degree in Business Management, and knows that Bethany College has helped to prepare him for whatever life brings at him upon graduating!