SGTC women’s basketball team is the #1 ranked JUCO in the nation
AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - Being #1 in the country is nothing new in the peach state. The Georgia Bulldogs did it, several high school players have been #1 in the nation, and some became number 1 overall picks going to the pros. It’s time to make room for another because South Georgia Technical College women’s basketball team is the number one junior college in the nation. Now this kind of success is a little different compared to the rest because of the amount of international talent on the squad.
“I don’t specifically set out and go ‘oh I’m going to sign a bunch of international ladies’ I set out to sign quality character people and the best players we can find and if they’re in Egypt, Rome, or Italy, or Louisiana that’s who we want” said SGTC women’s head basketball coach, James Frey.
Coach James Frey said he would love to get in state talent but it’s not that easy since Georgia is highly recruited. So he adapted and developed trusted sources that helped him fill his roster with talent from Brazil, Netherlands, Hungary, Switzerland, Turkey, Columbia, Spain, Canada, and Senegal.
He has two Americans but it was an adjustment for his sharp shooting point guard, Luana Leite.
“In the beginning it was really hard. Another country, different language so it was really difficult but I think now it’s better. I know the girls, I know the coach. So the way the played in the beginning was completely different from me but it’s kind of easy now” said Leite.
When the ladies came to South Georgia Tech, some of them thought they were coming to Atlanta and quickly realized they are 3 hours away from the city, So I was curious about what do they do in their free time?
“Sometimes we will, it’s like a school near here we go to to watch games. It’s a school near here, it’s like a D2 school, we got to watch games, sometimes we go to Albany to watch games” said Fanta Gassama.
Majority of the team has d1 offers including Gassama who’s already committed to University of Cincinnati.
She averaging a double double each game and talked about why she’s deciding to become lady bearcat.
“The connection with the coach and me were excellent, when I went to go visit I was like ‘I like this University’ so I decided to commit there” said Gassama.
Her teammate Alexia Dizeko has the chance to play with her at Cincinnati since that’s one of her offers.
She’s won GCAA player of the week three times this season.
Alexia has been arguably the best player on the team, and to no surprise she’s taking the humble approach.
I don’t think I’m the best player on the team, I just put the work in practice and I got a lot of opportunities. So I just go pass the ball, I go to rebound, so i think I have maybe more opportunities than the other players but I don’t think I’m the best player” said Dizeko.
Since the team is winning so much and offers are piling up, I wanted know would they prefer to play in the WNBA or win a ring this year.
“To me it’s a national championship of course. I say of course because I live by one game at a time and just more focused on that. You can go the WNBA and not be guaranteed any minutes. So just sitting on the bench is not worth it to me, so that’s why I would like to play in a national championship game and win it of course” said Loes Rozing.
After talking to Loes, Fanta, Alexia, and Luana, they me shocked me since they would rather play overseas over the WNBA
Apparently, the WNBA doesn’t pay as much.
What’s been paying off for the lady Jets is their resilience to not get complacent. They understand that what they’re doing is historic since This is the first time in South Georgia Tech’s school history being ranked #1. Coach Frey said they’ve had so many years where they would ranked #2, but after winning 27 games in a row, they have earned this recognition. Before this win streak, they found themselves in a pickle during their first game of the season.
“That night in Gulf Coast. our first game of the year was November 2nd, they made 17 3′s. Everything went their way. They played super, but our team executed our game plan perfectly. It was to take the drive away from them. Let them shoot the jump shots and they haven’t made close to 17 this year” said Frey.
The confidence is growing in the program, and Coach Frey expects to be in the national championship.
“Yeah I would be hugely surprised and disappointed. This team works too hard. They understand what it takes. They do the things we need to do to get there and I would be very very shocked if we’re not in Lubbock on March 22nd” said Frey.
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