Ravens Basketball Encourages Academics Alongside Athletics; Leads to Winning Season


Photo courtesy of Scott Gernander

Head Coach Scott Gernander rallies his players during a game at Anders Gymnasium. The team currently averages a 3.02 GPA.

San Jacinto College Mens Basketball boasted a 28-6 record this year, finishing first place in the South Conference, winning the South Zone Championship for the third consecutive year, and finishing the season ranked 12 in the NJCAA.

This season, the team of four freshmen and 10 sophomores made it to the regional tournament as the number one seed but lost to number seventeen seed Tyler Junior College by 2 points.

“Every year the team talks about their goals for the season, with the conference championship as their number one aim in hopes of a victory,” Albert Talley Jr., Mens Basketball Assistant Coach said.

Although winning titles is an important part of the team’s culture, the coaching staff also stresses the importance of academic achievement.

“The team is held to pretty high standards, with the team’s school work being their main priority,” Talley said. “We make sure the boys go to study hall or tutor them ourselves, personally.”

Scott R. Gernander, Mens Basketball Head Coach, agreed with Tally adding “we want these men to get their associate’s degree and be successful in life more than anything.”

In addition, Gernander said this year’s roster claims a 3.02 GPA, the highest a Ravens basketball team has ever seen, ensuring “players this season will have the grades to pursue basketball at some level.”

Looking ahead, Talley said next season’s goals include “going back to Hutchinson (the regional tournament) and making a better run.”

However, Gernander warns, each new batch of players presents a unique set of hurdles.

“It’s always a challenge when putting together a new team because you never know how players from different backgrounds will hit it off,” he said. “Guys from all over the nation are a part of this basketball team. This year they did great job with having the right chemistry.”

Gernander has served as Mens Basketball head coach at San Jacinto College for three years while Talley has been the assistant coach for four.

Shooting guard Dana Rysor noted “San Jacinto has two amazing coaches that will push you hard, both on and off the court ….”

“This year’s basketball team,” he said, “brings diversity and a different style of basketball to the court.”

Rysor joined the team two years ago, but could not play last season because of a torn ACL. However, he said his goal was “to come back and be effective this season, and not let my injury affect my game.”

Although there were challenging points during the season, according to Gernander, the turning point was when San Jac, on a three-game losing streak, beat Trinity Valley, who was ranked number four in the nation. Rysor hit the winning shot at the buzzer and from there, the Ravens went on to win 11 straight games.

“It boosted the team’s spirits back,” Gernander said, “and we were able to get healthy again.”