LA PLATA, Md. (March 14, 2018)—They've had a taste of national competition, and now they're heading back for more.
The Hawks are on their way to the national championship tournament for National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II, which will take place from March 20-24 in Danville, Illinois.
The CSM Men's Basketball Team started the 2017-18 season with the stated goal of earning another shot at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Tournament. It was a somewhat audacious goal. Last season had been just the first time in Hawks' history that the team qualified to compete in the national tournament.
"I think that last year's success as a team has motivated me and the returners to get back to the national tournament," said Head Coach Alan Hoyt at the beginning of the season. "I think we understand what it takes to get there, and we have come out focused and determined."
That focus and determination has indeed earned the Hawks a consecutive trip to the national tournament. The team came out on top in the regional tournament, the 2018 NJCAA Region XX District II men's championship on March 11, winning against Cecil College 72-65.
"The Hawks are excited to represent Southern Maryland at the national tournament for the second consecutive year," Hoyt said. "The players are looking to improve on their performance from last year and maintain their presence on the national level."
"We are thrilled for the men's basketball program being crowned the NJCAA Region XX Champions for the second year in a row and in doing so, earning the opportunity to compete on a national stage next week," said CSM Executive Director of Student Life and Athletics Life Michelle Ruble. "We wish them safe travels and absolutely best of luck."
The Hawks' first game at the tournament will be against Pima Community College of Tucson, Arizona, on March 20. Each college team plays at least two games during the tournament.
The 2017-18 Hawks are Juwan Smith of Lexington Park (guard), Sean Scott of Waldorf (forward), Levon Randall of Waldorf (forward), Tony Tavares of Chesapeake Beach (forward), Darnell Taylor of Clinton (guard), Jerome Savoy of Waldorf (guard), Desmond Creek of Prince Frederick (guard), Shawn Ortiz-Robinson of Colorado Springs, Colorado (guard), Renard Lane of Clinton (forward), Damon Gaither of White Plains (forward), Raymond McLeod of Great Mills (guard) and Jerry Sharpe of Temple Hills (guard). Hoyt, who is in his 11th season as the team's head coach, is supported by assistant coaches Burton Moody and Daniel Richards.
The CSM Foundation has set up an online fundraiser to assist the Hawks with their travel expenses for the national championship. To participate or learn more, visit gvcmp.us/fddn2w
For information about the NJCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship, visit www.dacc.edu/njcaa. For information about CSM's Men's Basketball program, visit athletics.csmd.edu/sports/mbkb/index.