The Richland College men’s basketball team clinched the 2015 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III men’s basketball title this spring, and yesterday these non-scholarship student athletes were awarded championship rings commemorating this athletic achievement.
The event, hosted on the Richland College campus, included brief congratulatory speeches from Richland College’s vice president for student development Tony Summers, Ed.D, Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) chancellor Joe May, Ed.D., DCCCD Foundation board secretary Ruben E. Esquivel, Richland’s head basketball coach Jon Havens, Richland’s athletic director Guy Summers and Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D.
“A lot of people in our district and our teams have the heart of a champion, but very few of them get to wear the ring of a champion,” said May. “And what we’re going to award today to you and recognize you for is something that I hope you will carry with you the rest of your lives as a reminder of not only what you’ve accomplished, but what you can do in the future, and I wish every one of you the best, regardless of what happens next in your lives.”
Each member of the basketball team was called up to receive his ring as family, friends and other attendees applauded.
This was Havens’ first year as head coach at Richland College, having previously been an assistant coach at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.
“We are incredibly proud of every one of you players who now wear this ring so proudly,” Eggleston said to the players after they received their rings. “It is absolutely awesome, and you will be quite the talk of the town as you leave here today and go out among your family, your friends and your classmates. It is well earned. You have earned it, wear it with pride, cherish the memories and remember at Richland we always say we play to a standard, not to a score. And you have lived up to that standard that we have set.”
Richland College’s previous national basketball titles were in 1999 and 2009. The Thunderducks finished the 2014-15 season with a final record of 27-3.
The Richland College 2014-15 basketball team roster is as follows: Brandon Woods (sophomore), Ryan Daniels (sophomore), Trey Hall (sophomore), Ishmael Donzo (sophomore), Trevon Jeffery (sophomore), Josh Francis (freshman), Terrance Cooper (freshman), Torrance Cooper (freshman), Kierre Moore (sophomore), Brad Umoru (freshman), Marques Smith (freshman), Robel Yoseph (freshman), Adarian Harris (freshman) and Jacques Stephenson (freshman). Head coach Jon Havens leads the team, along with assistant coaches Michael Gross, Brian Graham and Phil Key.