Player's Collective Impact
By: Javonntie Jackson
There will be a lot of new faces on the basketball court this year. The SU Men’s basketball team brought in three Division 1 transfers and several major recruits, according to the SU athletics website
One of the transfers is Javonntie Jackson from Long Beach State, 6-foot-7 wing scored 9 points against Kansas and started as a true freshman. Donaldson Fanord, who came from Mississippi Valley State, is the 6-9 forward who put up a double-double on his best game with 15 points and 12 rebounds shooting 83%. Anthony Rice, from Lenoir’Rhyne University, is a 5-11 senior guard who put up 16 points vs Southern Wesleyan. Akinola Branco is another big transfer. The 6-3 guard from Mt. San Antonio college averaged 8 points and 3 rebounds and started in 18 games. He says he hopes to be the top guard inn the Cal Pac Conference and help Simpson get to playoffs. Gary Mimms, the Western Oklahoma State College transfer, is a 6-7 wing who averaged 15 points in 27 games with 6 rebounds.
Red Hawks Men’s basketball team are beginning their 2021-2022 season this Saturday against Sonoma State for homecoming, it’s a celebration for the university’s 100th birthday. Simpson has 7 seniors, 3 juniors, 2 sophomores and four freshmen on the varsity roster. Unfortunately, the JV roster is currently not available online. The JV squad are players who are redshirting, rehabbing and/or simply need extra minutes. The roster can change throughout the season creating depth for Simpon’s Men’s basketball squad.
This will be a much-anticipated game. Simpson has a few outstanding athletes that have been hibernating in the gym and weight-room ready to roll out a feast of W’s. According to Anthony Rice, team leader, he is excited to play with the new talent this year. Rice said the team hasn’t had a group of guys with the size and depth like they have now.
One of those highly anticipated transfers is, 6-10 forward, Noah Bigirumwami, an NCAA DI transfer from Chicago State University. Bigirumwami, 225 lbs., will be the biggest player on this year’s starting lineup. Rice anticipates Bigirumwami will spread the floor on fast breaks and will lock down the paint.
Fanford as the oldest player on the team at 24 years old is expected to offer guidance and direction on and off the court, Coaches said. He is described to be someone who is always smiling and uplifting others. This is a great skill to have and share with such a talented group of guys. In practice he is noticed for his ability to guard the post and come off the pick and roll plays efficiently.
According to assistant coach “Dub” XXXXXX, “I think we can all agree that returning players have a significant impact on teams as a whole, but something that sometimes gets overseen is the style of playing.”
With all the transfers from all over the country, this year’s men’s team will be unlike any before.
Around the world basketball is played at many different levels and perhaps some rules maybe be slightly different, but the concept of the game is identical regardless of what part of the world you reside. This year, about half of the team is from California which is actually very interesting because the way basketball is played in the west coast is different than the south and east coast. I believe that this is a positive regardless if players are from northern or southern California simply due to the style that is played in this side of the region. I would consider California’s style of playing to consists of being able to handle the ball well, run the floor on fast breaks and being able to shoot at a distance… this is sort of the culture that has evolved throughout the state overtime regardless if it’s at the high school or college level.