West Windsor, N.J. – Members of the men’s basketball team hung tough through numerous trials this year and never lost sight of the importance of supporting each other and of being good representatives of Mercer County Community College athletics.
According to Howard Levy, who completes his eighth year as head coach, the lineup for the 2015-16 season never quite settled down. Due in part to injuries and the ineligibility of several players after the fall season, the Vikings failed to establish a fully working game plan.
The Vikings started off the year trying different combinations. “As always happens, by the end of the fall semester, players were steadily improving,” Levy said.
But by the end of January, the already reduced eight-man squad became a six-man squad, and players who were never expected to be team leaders were stepping up in a big way. Still, according to Levy, “We had a nice little run with those six. They delivered on the court and academically.”
This year, the Vikings’ Region 19 competition proved especially challenging, with Essex, Harcum and Manor all having very strong teams. (Essex advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament, losing in the semifinal round.)
Levy can live with the team’s 8-18 record, in part because, despite the lopsided win-loss numbers, he saw substantial improvement as the players progressed through the season. He is especially proud of his sophomores, Dean Blank, Daquan Hargrove, Salam Simon, D’Andre Parmley and Ezren Bell. “Each and every one worked hard and was a better player than when he started the season,” Levy said. Parmley was named to the All-Garden State Athletic Association First Team.