By Mac Skogen Introduction to Journalism Student April 10, 2018
When people think about intramural basketball, they think about having fun and just playing hoops with some buddies. That is not Christian “The Stache” Paloma. Tuesday and Thursday nights, the 5’8, athletic, silky smooth shooter, Paloma, appears under the lights of the NIACC recreation gym.
When asked how he continues to force his will upon his opponents, Paloma said, “I’m just a competitive person. I played three sports in high school so I know how to play.”
Paloma is the star player of a local intramural team of students from Mason City. The team features all Mason City High School graduates. Jordan Yezek is one of those players. “You wouldn’t expect someone like Christian who is only 5’8 to be this good. I know I was pretty surprised when I saw him play,” said Yezek.
In one intramural game, Paloma had 12 points and dished out four assists. The simple and consistent plays make him so tough to play against. He is the motor that keeps this team running.
“I know if I play hard, my teammates will follow. Energy is contagious,” said Paloma.
For intramurals, there is no coach on the sidelines. Paloma takes that role upon himself to let his teammates know what they did wrong and what to do. Yezek calls Paloma “the glue” that keeps them all together.
Another member of the team is Zach Stephenson. During tournament time, the team looks to play their best basketball with Paloma leading the way. “I think this team will go as far as Christian takes us,” said Stephenson. “If we keep playing like we are now with Christian playing like an MVP, I don’t see anybody beating us.”
Paloma’s nickname “The Stache” is a part of his legacy now. It is an iconic look for him. James Harden of the Houston Rockets has the saying about his beard, “Fear the Beard.” Opponents now know about Paloma. They will definitely “Fear the Stache.”