Basketball prepares to take the court

Ivan Hernandez and Ivan Hernandez

The Cerritos College men’s basketball team looks to improve on the court after struggling last season.

Improved by experience and growth, head coach Russ May stated that he is looking forward to the new season.

Coach May said that returning sophomores Anthony Holiday, DeAnthony Roberts, Marquis Washington, Ike Akajiobi and Chris Wims are “all sophomores who are looking to provide a large Boost for us. We had a lot of freshmen last year and they took a big step forward. They were still freshmen, but the nice thing about it is they’ve matured a little bit and now they’re sophomores. We’ve added some really really good freshmen this year and we’re really excited about our prospects.”

Coach May is anticipating a winning season for the Cerritos College men’s basketball team in a balanced conference with good competition, which May believes the Cerritos College men’s basketball team match up well against.

“You know, I’m very excited about our group of guys this year and we hope we can see many students out there at our games, and we are going to represent Cerritos (College) in the finest fashion,” said May.

Defense is a major focus that has been stressed during practice sessions between May and his team. The emphasis was on protecting the basket.

DeAnthony Roberts, returning sophomore who has been played for Cerritos College for two seasons, said, “Yes defense is very important. Without defense, you know, you can’t get on offense without stopping the team. You can’t win games without defense, so you know, you do all your best, you work hard, play hard, play help side and talk on defense and we’ll be fine.”

May stresses the team philosophy of “defense turns into offense,” which he believes can push Cerritos College into the next level.

As for offense, May said, “Offensively, we definitely want to push the tempo. We got some great athletes, I want to let them be able to create and show and demonstrate their skills and abilities. So my goal is to put them in the right spot so they could do just that.”

Point guard Chris Holmes, who will be the teams facilitator, said, “I’m the point guard, I look to distribute and get everybody involved and be a leader.”

Marquis Washington emphasized the importance of teamwork.

“My goal obviously is to, just make it to that state championship, but, you know as a team everybody eats, everybody gets scholarships, everybody makes it to that next level.”

The first game of the season for Cerritos College will take place at Gahr High School on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. versus Santa Monica College.