High hopes for men’s basketball

Last season was promising for head coach Jerome Jenkins and the Santa Monica College men’s basketball team. Despite losing in the first round of the playoffs to El Camino College, it marks the second straight year Jenkins has taken his team to the post season. He will try to accomplish that same goal this year with a fresh set of new faces.

Entering his fourth season as head coach, Jenkins will have the task of molding a team full of freshmen. Despite their youth, Jenkins is very excited about this squad.

“They’re like sponges—they listen and they work hard,” Jenkins said.

In the off-season, the Corsairs added Anthony Cooper to their coaching staff. Cooper was a standout player at California State University-Hayward, setting a Cal Pac single-season record for highest three-point percentage.

“I’ve heard of Coach Jenkins, and I knew this was a growing program and I wanted to be a part of something big,” Cooper said. “As a coach I want to help them be better players and men in general.”

Cooper hopes to bring his basketball I.Q, passion, and shooting knowledge to the court.  He also wants the players to understand the importance of receiving an education and try and use basketball as a way to move forward in life by teaching them the principles of discipline, commitment, and integrity.

Another addition to the team is 6’4 freshman David Nwaba. The Hawaii Pacific transfer is excited about the opportunity to play with such a talented young team, and hopes to bring his leadership and skill to the court.

“David’s a high level basketball player,” Jenkins said. “He’s a great asset to our team.”

Along with Nwaba, the team carries a plethora of players who can “get buckets” in a matter of seconds. Because of the up-tempo style of play Jenkins runs, he is going to play with five guards in the starting lineup, and hopes that his team can run a track meet against opponents.    During summer play, the team saw success using this unconventional lineup.

Nwaba and the young Corsairs are ready for the challenge of making another run to the postseason.

The Corsairs begin their season on the road at Biola University to face the Cerritos Falcons in a non-conference matchup Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

“We are going to go out play hard, play Corsair basketball, and we will see what happens. Every time we step on the floor we want to win,”  said Jenkins.