Men’s basketball prepares for season opener

Pounding down the hardwood the black shirted player launches himself into the air, turning to catch the ball before slamming it through the hoop and hanging from the rim.

It’s that time of year again, basketball season has started once more and that means another chance for the Brahmas to win the conference championships.

With five returning athletes, Brahmas’ head coach Edward Babayan said he hopes to lead the team to victory this season and repeat their conference championship from two years ago.

“Every night’s gonna be a dogfight,” said Babayan. “It all comes down to who plays harder through the stretch.”

Babayan said he has a lot of respect for the other teams in the conference but he expects Oxford, Cuesta and Ventura colleges to be the most challenging match ups.

Cross-town rival Moorpark College, known as a top mentally tough team, is also expected to put up a fight.

“We expect to take a few bruises at the start of the season,” said assistant coach Charles Wright.

The team will look to players like the ‘unguardable’ Josh Thomas, the ‘freak of nature athlete’ Hassan Stephens and the ‘amazing’ Chris Smith to lead the team to victory.

“A lot of our players have been out of school, but they haven’t played college ball,” said Wright. “It’s gonna take our experienced players to hold them together.

The team has 24 allotted games this season, 12 conference games and 12 tournaments to play in preparation. The season started with the team’s first tournament Monday and will continue through February with the state championships occurring in March.

“Our roster has been in flex for the past few weeks,” said Babayan. “We’re not 100 percent sure who’ll be playing the first game as to who’ll be playing the fourth game.”

The basketball team has been hurt less by the cuts to the Athletic Department than the other Pierce teams and so have been able to keep all their away games or they have found a work around.

While the team does have athletes from as far away as Australia they do not actively recruit from outside the state.

“There’s no tough opponent to me,” said Stephens. “You just gotta get out there and work hard.”