Richland College men’s and women’s soccer teams won their respective National Junior College Athletic Association Division III National Championships last weekend, marking only the third time in NJCAA Division III history that a school has won the men’s and women’s national titles in the same year–records also held by Richland College in 2004 and 2006.
The men’s team traveled to Herkimer, NY, where they defeated Sussex 4-0 on Nov. 8, Genesee 7-3 on Nov. 9 and Nassau 6-1 on Nov. 11. This final win gave the men’s team their seventh national title. Their final 6-1 score against Nassau was also the largest margin of victory in a Division III championship match in NJCAA history.
The women’s team traveled to Rockford, Ill., where they defeated Holyoke 9-0 on Nov. 8, Brookdale 5-1 on Nov. 9 and Delta 1-0 on Nov. 11. This is the women’s team’s fourth national title.
Mohamed Sesay, men’s forward, was named the Tournament MVP after scoring five goals and recording an assist during the span of three games. Sesay and Mariano Fazio, defender, and Lucio Martinez, midfielder, earned spots on the All-Tournament Team. In addition, Coach Sean Worley was named Coach of the Tournament.
Miranda Ibarra, women’s defender, was named Tournament MVP, Eva Mulligan was named Offensive MVP and Dynastee Cain was named Defensive MVP. Additionally, forward Asia Revelry was named to the All-Tournament Team and Coach Scott Toups was named Coach of the Tournament.
Both Richland College men’s and women’s soccer teams have winning reputations and have traveled across the country to play in exhibition and postseason games in places like California, Kansas, New York, Chicago, New Jersey and Missouri. The men’s team has seven national championships from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2016 and 2018. For more information, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/sliferlc/athletics/mensoccer/pages/default.aspx. The women’s team has four national championships from 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2018. For more information, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/sliferlc/athletics/womensoccer/pages/default.aspx.
Shooting hoops and chasing dreams are what Tony Bishop, Jr. does best. This former Richland College Thunderduck is making a name for himself in the basketball world, as he has recently played with the Panama National Team and Denmark’s Bakken Bears in several countries internationally.
Bishop competed as part of the Panama National Team in the FIBA AmeriCup in Montevideo, Uruguay on Aug. 28-30. The FIBA AmeriCup is a men’s basketball tournament that brings together the best 12 national teams across North and South America. The Panama team competed in Group C with the Dominican Republic, United States and Uruguay teams. Other teams present in the tournament were Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Puerto Rico in Group A and Argentina, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands and Venezuela in Group B.
Although Panama finished last in the tournament, Bishop came in sixth out of 125 players for most points per game. The 28-year-old, 6’ 7” power forward finished the tournament with 16.3 points per game, 49 total points, had 20 rebounds, made 3 steals and blocked 2 shots. He was also featured on the Top 10 Plays on ESPN on August 29.
After the FIBA AmeriCup, Bishop played with Denmark’s team, the Bakken Bears, in qualifying rounds for the FIBA 2018 Basketball Champions League. The Bears won 80-78 in the first round against Donar Groningen in Groningen, Netherlands, but lost 83-91 in the second round in Risskov, Denmark.
Before he began competing in international competitions, Bishop played basketball as a Richland College Thunderduck from 2007 to 2009.
“Slim, as he is known to those close to him, was a very motivated player while at Richland College,” said Jon Felmet, former Richland College head basketball coach. “When I recruited him in 2007, he told me where he wanted to end up, and I told him what he would need to do to get there. Since his time at Richland, he has continued to be a hard worker and a role model for his son and the kids in the Garland community. He puts in countless hours of weight workouts and skill development to continue to perfect his craft. He is one of the most successful student athletes to come out of Richland College.”
In 2009, Bishop helped lead the Thunderducks to win the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III men’s basketball title.
“I enjoyed my time at Richland College because of the brotherhood that was started with the guys,” said Bishop. “When we said ‘One Family, One Goal’ we really meant that! Still to this day, the coaching staff and players will always be brothers that came together to accomplish the ultimate goal – a national championship!”
While at Richland College, he was voted Metro Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2007-08, NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American in 2007-08, Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2008-09, NCJAA Division III Player of the Year 2008-09 and NJCAA Division III National Champion. He also received a full athletic scholarship to Texas State University, where he ended up being a Southland Conference All-Conference Player.
“Slim was one of many players of the 2009 National Championship team that have gone on to do great things with their lives,” added Felmet. “He recently held a free youth camp in the city of Garland for more than 50 young basketball players, and he continues to give back. He is humble and hasn’t forgotten his roots. Also, he recently launched a clothing line ‘Eat or Get Ate,’ a phrase that he coined and lived by while at Richland College.”
Ready to catch Bishop in action? The Bakken Bears will be playing in the regular season of the FIBA Europe Cup, running now through May 2, 2018. For more information, visit fiba.basketball/europecup/17-18.
Richland College Thunderduck men’s basketball team is currently coached by Jon Havens. The team has won the NJCAA Division III National Championship title three times—in 2015, 2009 and 1999. For more information, visit richlandcollege.edu/basketball.
The Richland College men’s basketball team clinched the 2015 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III men’s basketball title after defeating the defending national champion team Rock Valley College (Illinois) in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y.
Despite facing a double-digit deficit in the second half, Richland College pulled ahead for a 67-64 win against Rock Valley, earning the Thunderducks their third national title in the program’s history.
“Winning the national championship in your sport is always the desire of everyone that plays or coaches,” said Jon Havens, Richland College head basketball coach. “It gives you a great sense of validation when you are trying to prove yourself. This group of guys can say for the rest of their lives that they were national champions! It’s just a special feeling to have watched this team come together and win what we all worked so hard to win.”
Sophomore Kierre Moore scored a game-high 20 points for Richland, and three other Thunderduck starters posted double-figures in scoring: Brandon Woods with 15 points, Trey Hall with 11 points and Ishmael Donzo with 12 points.
Moore was named tournament MVP by averaging 12.3 points and 7.6 rebounds in three championship games. Hall was also recognized with all-tournament honors, averaging 14.3 points and five rebounds during the tournament.
This was Haven’s first year as head coach at Richland College, having previously been an assistant coach at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.
“This year was an incredible journey for everyone involved,” said Havens. “I was a new coach to the players, and they were new to me. They embraced me, along with my philosophy of basketball, from day one. After losing our first two games, I told the guys that we had 23 more games left to try and achieve what we wanted to achieve. To then go on two long winning streaks and still have the guys come into practice wanting to learn and get better might be the most special thing for me. They embraced the process of what it takes to be champions.”
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 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), 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.