In a gym across the street from campus, Cerritos College Falcons point guard Anthony Holliday and company prepare for the season opener of the men’s basketball season against the Santa Monica College Corsairs this Friday at Biola University.
Holliday expresses the anticipation that has built up among his team going in to game one.
“We’re anxious because we’ve been beating up on each other, so now we want a turn to beat up on somebody else,” he said.
Head coach Russ May compared the first game of the season to a box of chocolates, referring to an outcome that is usually unpredictable.
According to the head coach, the first game of the regular season will help him see what strategies work and what adjustments need to be made.
“It’s just the beginning of a long journey and we want to get better every game, every possession, every practice,” May said.
This will be the first basketball experience at a college level for several players, including 6 foot 7 inch forward Jonathan Benson.
“We’re all excited and I’m kind of nervous because it is my first college game but it’s going to turn out to be okay,” Benson said.
The Gahr High School alumnus also mentioned the difference between college teammates opposed to the ones in high school, “These guys are different, they have more talent.”
It’s the returning players such as Holliday, power forward Isaac Okebiorun and point guard Manny Garcia that May hopes to see take on leadership roles within the team.
“I think that their experience is going to give them a lot more poise and to be able to not let the speed of the game affect them mentally or physically,” May said.
One of the more difficult tasks that the team has to deal with is not being able to practice or host their first home game at home.
The reason they are unable to practice or host their first home game at home is that the Cerritos College gymnasium is still under construction, which is why the game will be held at Biola University on Friday night.
Despite any discouraging factors, the coaching staff still feels that this is the highest level of talent that they have seen among players over the last two seasons.