By Miguel Nunez
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The men’s basketball team at Camden County College with their 23-4 record have one major wish as they head to the playoffs this weekend; they just want to know their school cares.
After an incredible season with strong wins against Salem Community College (88-84), Atlantic Cape Community College (93-82 and 89-50), and a huge upset against Sussex County Community College (85-44), the CCC players are only wishing for more of a crowd turnout as they go off to Ocean County for the playoffs. After such a strong season, it would be hard not to agree the attention and support are much deserved.
With fresh direction under new head Coach Lou Batista, it’s easy to see why the team has performed so well together. Batista has created a training system for his players that focuses on their individual attitudes and how they contribute to their collaboration as a team. Batista made it clear before his players could be a good team, they had to be good teammates and it was hard work off the court that led to success once on it.
Players are quick to admit they saw results when they followed the guidance of their new head coach. When asked about their newfound success, No. 32 sophomore Deleon Floyd simply stated, “We bought into the system … we listened to what the coach said … and we did it.” With this system, Floyd has scored more than 270 points in 23 games played.
Floyd said he believes more students should take advantage of the great basketball program available at Camden County College and the rest of the student body should take more pride in their team, especially now after all their hard work.
Crowd turnouts have been less than stellar, well under 100 guests even for the most important games.
“I’m looking to further my basketball career but I would never call being on this team a crutch,” said Floyd. “It’s much more than that, it’s an outlet for those who want to be a part of something great and get exposed to what it means to be a student athlete and be part of a successful program.”
Floyd has dreams of one day playing for the University of Kansas and he believes his hard work at CCC can take him there but his real focus is right now and what his team has to prove in the next couple of days.
“My goal right now? … My goal right now is to win regionals … to come do our job as a team and accomplish something that has only been accomplished one other time in CCC history,” Floyd said.
Floyd said winning regionals “would mean everything to me. I’ve never really wanted anything. We’re all a part of something to be proud of now.”