Northwest guard commits to NAIA school in Arkansas

Posted 6/8/21

One of the Northwest College men’s basketball team’s key contributors from the 2021 season is headed to the next stage. Guard Hayden Peterson signed with Central Baptist College, an NAIA …

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Northwest guard commits to NAIA school in Arkansas

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One of the Northwest College men’s basketball team’s key contributors from the 2021 season is headed to the next stage. Guard Hayden Peterson signed with Central Baptist College, an NAIA program in Conway, Arkansas. 

In one season in Powell, Peterson started 20 games for the Trappers and averaged 9.4 points per game. Peterson led NWC with 48 made 3-pointers, shooting 41.4% from deep. Before that, he played a season at Sheridan College, where he averaged 5.3 points per game in 31 contests.

The recent NWC grad feels prepared for this leap to the NAIA ranks after a season of improvement in Powell. 

“NWC really helped me grow from a confidence standpoint,” Peterson said. “[Coach Jay] Collins and my teammates put a bunch of faith in me to go out and hit threes and make plays while also guarding the other team’s best players.”

Before heading south, there are a few areas of Peterson’s game that he hopes to sharpen. 

“I want to continue to work on my shooting to be able to shoot at a high percentage from behind the 3-point line to help space the floor, as well as being able to put the ball on the floor and create a shot for myself or my teammates,” he said. “Continuing to play hard on both ends, guard the best players, dive on the floor, take charges, stuff like that.”

Peterson cited Central Baptist as a good fit because of the program’s motion offense and reliance on open threes, one of his strong suits. He also said he has built a “really good relationship” with CBC’s coach, Clint Galyean. 

Most recently, Central Baptist finished the 2020-21 season 19-7 and qualified for the NAIA Men’s Basketball Championship Opening Round. The Mustangs won their conference, the American Midwest, this year.

As Peterson joins the program, his goal is to help Central Baptist perpetuate its recent success. 

“I really just want to come in and do whatever it takes to win,” he said. “There are high hopes at Central Baptist coming into this year, and I want to be a part of it and win a ring or two.”

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