South Georgia Tech basketball teams prepare for 2019-2020 season
Published 11:52 pm Monday, October 7, 2019
From Staff Reports
AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College (SGT) men’s and women’s basketball teams are getting ready for their upcoming 2019-2020 seasons, which will get underway on Friday, November 1.
The Lady Jets will begin their season by hosting the Lady Jets Tip-Off Classic Friday and Saturday, November 1-2. They will play Santa Fe College on Friday, November 1, and Chattahoochee Valley Community College on Saturday, November 2, at 3 p.m.
At the same time, the Jets will travel to Wilmington, NC to participate in the Region 10/17 Tip-Off Classic. They will take on Cape Fear Community College on Friday, November 1, at 5 p.m. They will then take on the University of South Carolina Salkahatchee on Saturday, November 2, at 5 p.m. Following that game, the Jets will play their third and final game of the tournament against Spartanburg Methodist on Sunday, November 3, at 1 p.m.
The Lady Jets, who are the three-time defending GCAA champions, are currently ranked ninth in the nation in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) preseason top 25 ranking. They will be taking the first step in trying to earn their fourth-straight trip to the NJCAA national tournament.
“We are excited to get another season going,” SGTC women’s head coach James Frey said. “Obviously, we lost some very talented young ladies to graduation so we are going to count heavily on our freshman class and a couple of transfers. I feel like this is the deepest team we have had in my time here at South Georgia Tech. We have some solid leadership returning as well in Anna McKendree, Yaz Wazeerud-Din, Oumy Gueye and Amara Edeh. Unfortunately, we lost Kam Hollingshed to a torn ACL last week. She was our leading returning scorer, but we will still count on her heavily to act as a coach this year and mentor to the younger ladies as they gain experience on the fly.”
Coach Frey went on to say that he has a lot of confidence in his team and that he and his staff have been trying to impress upon the players the high expectations that come with playing at SGT. “It’s a great experience, but it comes with a price,” Frey said. “We require a lot from them. They are fighting through that right now and I know they will be excited in a few weeks when they tip off the regular season.”
In addition to Edeh, Wazeerud-Din and McKendree, two sophomore transfers have joined the program. They include Shamari Tyson, a 5’4 guard from Fort Wayne, IN, and Niya Gouderlock, a 5’7 guard from Gaffney, SC.
The freshmen newcomers include Veronica Charles (Lagos, Nigeria), Moe Shidda (Hokkaido, Japan), Flore Ngassamputu (Kinshasa, DRC), Hope Butera (Kigali, Rwanda), Sara Lwambo (Goma, DRC) and Fremme Sikuzani (Goma, DRC).
Two new assistant coaches will join Frey’s staff this season. Demetrious Colson is a former SGT player and was later an assistant coach for the Lady Jets under former SGT women’s coach Brandon Harrell. He will be joining the staff as a full-time assistant coach. Ciarra Edwards, who played for Shelton State College and Mercer University, will also join the Lady Jets’ staff as a part-time assistant coach.
The SGT men’s basketball team is also looking forward to the 2019-2020 season. Head coach Travis Garrett will enter his fifth season piloting the Jets and his team is currently ranked third behind Central Georgia Tech and Georgia Highlands in the GCAA Preseason Coaches Poll.
“We finished the regular season in third place last year. Central Georgia Tech College and Georgia Highlands always have very strong teams so we know to win the regular season and the conference championship, we will have to go through them,” Garrett said. “We are excited about our prospects. The pre-season program has been good thus far. The players have been working extremely hard in the weight room, conditioning, and now transitioning to pre-season practice.”
The Jets will return four sophomore guards this season: Toriano Lewis (6’1 guard, Richmond, VA), Brice Paster (6’3 guard, Macon, GA), Justin Johnson (6’7 guard, Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and Jaylan McKinney (5’9 guard, Swainsboro, GA). Johnson has been named to the Street and Smith pre-season Junior College All-American second team.
Other players transferring in as sophomores include 6’4 guard Jarius Carroll (Anapolis, MD), 7’0 power forward Merdy Bata (Kinshasa, DRC), and 6’4 guard Eric Walker (Birmingham, AL).
In addition to the returning sophomores and those transferring in, the Jets will have nine incoming freshmen joining the club. They include 6’0 guard Lamont Sanders (Baltimore, MD), 6’7 guard/forward Denari Garrett (Tampa, FL), 5’9 guard Christian De Leon (Tampa, FL), 6’3 guard Austin Hadden (Charlotte, NC), 6’7 forward Jalen Reynolds (Darien, GA), 6’5 guard Jordan Stephens (Macon, GA), 6’6 guard /forward Tabais Long (Conyers, GA), 6’9 forward Emmanuel Nwaneri (Imo, Nigeria) and 6’9 forward Jonathan Kanyanga (Kinshasa, DRC).