Men’s Basketball Preview: 2011-2012 Rams

By Sam Diaz
The Guardsman

The plan for the defending 2011 State Champions this year is simply to “win” said head coach, Justin Labagh.
With the tip-off to the 2011-2012 season only weeks away, the City College men’s basketball team is working hard to gel and build chemistry in hopes of repeating last year’s run to becoming state champions. With new key players and a new style of play, the Rams look forward to starting the season against Hartnell College on Nov 29.

Entering his ninth season as their head coach, Labagh, a three-time California Community College coach of the year, led the Rams to a 27-1 record last season defeating Citrus College 83-81 to win their first state title since 1962.

This season, Labagh is committed to continuing his success as he looks forward to the start of competition.

“Were playing a completely different style, so I’m looking to forward to seeing these guys gel.” he said. “I think once they gel and get confidence together it’s going to be really fun because we’re going to play faster then we’ve ever played.”

The Rams are entering this season as a brand-new team. With the absence of last year’s entire starting line up, including De’End Parker who averaged 12 points a game (now moving on to UCLA) and forwards Fred Sturdivant and Collin Chiverton (continuing onto Division I schools as well), the Rams are looking to fill these shoes with returning sophomores and a very good recruiting class, or as coach Labagh said, “one of the best ones we’ve ever had.”

This season the Rams have acquired ten new players including Shawn Smith, Namuji Madoshi, Delon Wright, Gabriel Aguirre, Stuart Wesonga, Kanu Aja, Jamal Ford, Joseph Slocum, and McKenzie Moore, all of whom are working hard to defend the championship.

“We out here working hard trying to defend the title that somebody already set for us, so we just going to work hard and try to do the same thing over again,” Moore said.

Other than these new faces, City College has a lot of proven talent with six returning players who have tasted the sweetness of championship success. Ivan Dorsey, Garrett Moon, Myron Respress and Jarod Tillman, all of whom had playing time last year, will play significant roles on the team.

“I feel like we all like brothers, we around each other away from basketball, and everything, I feel like its going to be a good year for us.” Tillman said.

City College will host their first tournament of the season Nov. 11-13 with the Tip Off Classic.


The Guardsman