The national champion Vanguard University men's basketball team was further lionized Tuesday with an honor from the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

"Make me feel short," joked Supervisor John Moorlach, who next to most people looks tall, as he invited the team to the podium at the board's meeting.

Coaches and supporters snapped photos while Moorlach read a congratulatory proclamation recognizing the Lions' historic NAIA Division I title.

It's the first ever for the faith-based university, whose Costa Mesa campus borders City Hall. Costa Mesa is in Moorlach's supervisorial district.

"We just want to say we're so proud of you," Moorlach said. "And we're excited you're representing Orange County across the nation."

Coach Rhett Soliday thanked the board and university President Michael Beals, who also attended the presentation.

Soliday said he takes seriously the responsibility of leading "a group of guys who are going to be incredible contributors to the future of this county."

"I need to continue to carry the torch," he said.

—Jill Cowan