2023 HOF

Thunder Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Induction

Manhattan, Kan.


Manhattan Christian College Athletics has inducted two former student-athletes into the 2023-2024 Hall of Fame at the Vision 360 Banquet on April 12, 2024. This year’s inductees are Angie (Epps) Bates and Katie (Wright) Cardenas.


Angie (Epps) Bates, a standout player for the MCC Women's Basketball team from 2001 to 2005, was a highly decorated player for the Crusaders during that time. Throughout her career, Angie led her team to three Conference Championships, four Regional Championships and four National Tournament Appearances finishing in 6th place twice and as the NCCAA National Runner Up in the 2003-2004 season.


Bates also was named 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-Region all four years of her career. She was a 3-time 1St Team All American and was the National Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2004.  Bates scored over 1000 points and had over 500 rebounds in her career at MCC. Bates was also named a Scholar-Athlete in both her junior and senior seasons.


Throughout her tenure with the MCC Women's Basketball team, Bates cherished the camaraderie and spiritual bond shared among her teammates. She remembers the incredible fellowship and how everyone spurred each other on in their faith while also challenging each other to be better on the court.


Bates, now a devoted wife to Aaron Bates and a mother to three daughters, Sophia (13), Stella (12), and Samara (10), resides in Olathe, KS and is a Branch Leader for Flat Branch Home Loans. These days she spends most of her free time in the bleachers watching her three daughters play basketball.


Katie (Wright) Cardenas was a highly decorated member of the Women’s Soccer team from 2007-2010. Cardenas played on the back-to-back National Championship teams in 2009 and 2010 and finished in 3rd place in 2008 and 4th place in 2007.


Cardenas scored 60 goals in her career and added 28 assists. She earned four 1st Team All Region awards and four 1st Team All American awards. She was named to the National Tournament All-Tournament team in 2007 and was named the Most Valuable Player of the National Tournament in 2010. She was also named a Scholar-Athlete in both her junior and senior seasons.


Cardenas most memorable moments from playing at MCC included building relationship with her teammates, winning the National Tournament, being the tournament MVP and playing the sport she loved at a high level.


When asked how being an MCC student-athlete helped shape who they are now, Cardenas said, “Playing soccer at MCC helped me be confident and use my talents for a greater purpose. I use the skills I learned playing soccer to teach young kids and help them reach their full potential. Being at MCC helped me develop a deeper relationship with God, and I can now pass on my joy and passion for Jesus to my two boys.”


Cardenas is currently a 1st grade teacher in Manhattan, KS where she resides with her husband Jose, and their two boys Lucca and Micah. Lucca has just started playing soccer and Katie loves being able to watch him play and teach him the game.


Cardenas’ father soccer coach Rick Wright, was inducted last year into the Inaugural Hall of Fame.


MCC Athletics is honored to induct both incredible women into the second Hall of Fame class. Their contributions on the court and field were amazing but who both women were off the court led to their success with their teams. They both carry on the tradition of excellence and passion for Jesus in their daily lives today.