Jackson player of the year, May named coach of the year

Steven Quintana, Daniel Sandoval

The South Coast South Division Conference player of the year and head coach of the year titles have been awarded to members of the Cerritos College Basketball program.

Head coach Russ May is now coach of the year, while sophomore forward Marcellus Jackson has become player of the year after the end of last season.

“Honestly, I think if you are coach of the year you need to have players of the year, and I was fortunate to have some really good, tough kids that really competed for me.” May said.

May led the Falcons to an 18-11 record this year and to a No. 12 seed in the playoffs.

They faced Mt. San Antonio College Feb. 26 in the second round and were bumped out of the post-season in what Jackson called a very winnable game.

“Of course when I look back I would want to change some things but I think we all did good as a team,” Jackson said.

There were certain things we could have done better and that’s probably the most important part, what cost us the game is the little things,” he added.

Jackson was pleased to hear May was announced coach of the year because of the adversities the team faced and how May led them through it.

May was offered the position of head coach after former head coach Jesse Teplitzky resigned as coach after one year. “I’m happy for the opportunity,” commented May. “It was a great experience and there were a lot of challenges.”

Jackson said, “He came in late and he basically had what he had… a lot of kids wanted to transfer out after the situation with our pervious coach but we all just started working with him.”

“He worked with us and we just knew it was going to be a good season,” he added.

Schools have already been contacting Jackson with offers to join their programs.

“Right now I haven’t really made any final decisions, but at first I wanted to leave California but now I’m reconsidering it.” Jackson said.

He wants to stay local but can’t overlook the offers presented from all over the country.

“If I choose to stay in California, I will most likely go to Pepperdine or Riverside if I decide to leave, then I’m looking at bigger options,” he added.

With such a successful season behind him, May prepares for next season with stronger recruiting process and some invaluable returners, like freshman forward Willie Edwards.

“[Edwards] is a first team All-League guy and a very strong and steady influence and skilled.” said May, “We’re recruiting hard and try to bring in some guys to help build on the tradition.”

It is still not sure that May will be returning next year, but there’s no competition in sight.

 “I definitely want to be back and I’m looking forward to the opportunity and I’ve applied for the position full-time,” said May.

May left his 10-year head-coaching job for the Los Alamitos High School basketball team to take the opportunity to coach the Falcons.

As head coach at Los Alamitos, May led the Griffins to nine league championships as well as two CIF Southern Section championships in 2006, Division I-A, and in 2007, Division I-AA.

Before his time as head coach at Los Alamitos, Coach May was assistant coach for the Cerritos College basketball team under head coaches Jack Bogdanovich and Dean Ackland from 1994-99.

May spent some time wearing a Falcons jersey as well. His freshman year in 1989 Cerritos won the Conference title and came in second his sophomore year. May also was awarded a South Coast Honorable Mention his sophomore year.

May was considered for the coaching job last year though it was given to Jesse Teplitzky. After Teplitzky left for an assistant coaching job for a professional team in Mexico, May was offered the job.