SGTC Jets and Lady Jets preparing for 2023-2024 season

Published 2:01 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

By Su Ann Bird

 

AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College Jets and Lady Jets basketball teams will be featuring a lot of new faces as they prepare to open the 2023 – 2024 basketball season.

The first home game for the Jets is set for Saturday, November 4 at 3 p.m. against ASA Prep and the Lady Jets open at home on November 11 at 5 p.m. against Chattahoochee Valley Community College.  Their first games are on the road on November 1 against Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. CST.

The Lady Jets have a new coach, Jason Carpenter, and only two players returning from a very successful 2022 – 2023 season that saw the Lady Jets post the best record ever for a SGTC intercollegiate team at 33 – 2 overall and their first number one ranking entering the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament.  The Lady Jets finished the season among the top eight teams in the NJCAA.  This was their seventh consecutive time qualifying for the NJCAA national tournament and 10th overall.

The Jets, under Chris Ballauer, who is in his third year as the Jets head coach, is only returning four players from last season that ended with them 8 – 22 overall and seventh in the Georgia College Athletic Association.  In addition to a lot of new faces on the court, Ballauer and the Jets also have two new assistant coaches, George Ross, Jr., and David Gale.

“We are excited about the season,” said SGTC Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach Jason Carpenter, who realizes he has some big shoes to fill.  Former SGTC Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey is now at New Mexico State University as an Associate Coach.  Frey led the Lady Jets to eight National Junior College Athletic Association national tournaments, and posted a 303 – 60 record in 10 seasons at SGTC.  Olivia Melvin will return as the Assistant Coach for the Lady Jets.

Carpenter took over the reigns of the Lady Jets in August and had only two returners that saw limited playing time last season.  SGTC graduated nine sophomores from the 2002 – 2023 Lady Jets team.  Vera Gunaydin, a 5’ 9” shooting guard from Ankara, Turkey, and Maeve Fotsa Fofou, a 6’1” sophomore center from Quebec, Canada, are the two returners.

There are four sophomore transfers joining the team this year including Isabel de Souza Buena, a 5’ 6” guard from Sao Paulo, Brazil; Hinano Imamura, a 5’ 3” point guard from Toyama, Japan, and Greta Carollo, a 5’ 9” shooting guard from Vincenza, Italy.

Rounding out Carpenter’s roster are freshmen: guard Destiny Bishop from Bay Shore, New York; forward Maria Diaz, from Zaragoza, Spain; guard Mio Sankano from Yamanashi, Japan; shooting guard Enola Papin from Saint Etienne, France; and guard Maria Favero, from Cascovel Parana, Brazil.

The Jets are in a little better shape with four returners this season, but Jets head coach Chris Ballauer thinks that his team is coming together nicely and those four returners along with three other transfer sophomores should help make his team competitive and fun to watch.

Deonte Williams, a 6’ 6” sophomore guard from Sydney, Australia, along with 6’ 8” forward Ryan Djoussa from Dublin, Ireland;, 7’ 0” Center Noah Barnett from Adelaide, Australia; and 6’ 1” sophomore guard Justin Evans from Covington, GA; are the returning players.  The four sophomore transfers include 6’ 9” forward Israel Momodu from Atlanta, GA; 6’ 5” guard Mohand Ammad from Paris France; 6’ 11” center Batosse Gado from Cotonou, Benin; and 6’ 7” forward Jacob Smith from Sydney, Australia.

The freshmen on the Jets squad include:  guard Kameron Foman from Hartsville, SC; point guard Harley Kent from Byron Bay, Australia; guard Vaughn Prosser from Sydney Australia; guard Camarion Johnson from Brunswick, GA; forward Jafeth Martinez from Roatan, Honduras, guard Daryl Bod from Paris, France; and guard Jaylen Woods from Riverdale, GA.

Coach Ballauer has two new assistants on the bench this season as well.  George Ross, Jr., from New Mexico State University and David Gale from Eastern Florida State College, will be serving as assistant coaches.

 

2023 – 2024 Lady Jets – Shown seated (l to r) are: (3) Destiny Bishop, (24) Enola Papin, (30) Maria Favero, (0) Isabel de Souza Bueno; (4) Hinano Imamura, (11) Vera Gunaydin. On the back row are: Athletic Coordinator Terri Battle, Lady Jets Head Coach Jason Carpenter, (5) Greta Carollo, (15) Jessica Kailainy, (12) Maria Diaz, (22) Maeva Fotsa, (13) Mio Sakano along with Assistant Coach Olivia Melvin and Manager Davionne Gordon.
Photo by SGTC Athletics

The Jets and Lady Jets both open the season on the road, November 1 in a double header with Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL. The Jets will return home and have five consecutive home court appearances. They will host ASA Prep on November 4 at 3 p.m.; Tallahassee Community College on November 6 at 7:30 p.m.; and then hosts the Jets Veterans Day Classic Tournament on Noveber 10th and 11th against Florida Southwestern and Coastal Alabama at 7:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. followed by a Nobember 18th game at 3 p.m. versus Chattahoochee Valley Community College.

The Lady Jets will host Chattahoochee Valley Community College on November 11 at 5 p.m.  They travel to St. Petersburg for the St. Petersburg Classic to take on Hillsborough Community College and St. Petersburg College at 3 p.m. on November 17 and 18.  They return home on November 24 and 25 for the Pete Arrington Thanksgiving Classic against Chipola College and Miami Dade College at 6 p.m. and 5 p.m. on November 24 and 25.

The only other home game in November is when the Jets host New Rock Prep on November 21 at 7:30 p.m.  A complete schedule for the Jets and Lady Jets is on the website at:  https://www.southgatech.edu/athletics/jets-basketball/jets-schedule/ and https://www.southgatech.edu/athletics/lady-jets-basketball/lady-jets-schedule/.