Category Archives: On the Brink

On the Brink: Houston Cougars’ 2016 Commit Valentine Sangoyomi

After a strong career at Northern Oklahoma College, forward Valentine Sangoyomi continues to follow in the footsteps of Hakeem Olajuwon, and will play for the Houston Cougars starting in the 2016-17 season. (Source: Houston Cougars Athletics)
After a strong career at Northern Oklahoma College, forward Valentine Sangoyomi continues to follow in the footsteps of Hakeem Olajuwon, and will play for the Houston Cougars starting in the 2016-17 season. (Source: Houston Cougars Athletics)

Former NBA player Hakeem Olajuwon once said, “I’ve now been in this country for thirteen years, since I was seventeen. So this is my second home.”

Houston Cougars‘ commit Valentine Sangoyomi shares a similar path to that of Olajuwon, and one special connection.

The game of basketball means a lot to Sangoyomi. “It’s like what is giving me joy whenever I am sad about something. I can always find joy on the basketball court.”

After committing to the Cougars after a stellar JUCO career, Saangoyomi is “On the Brink” of stardom in the NCAA.

Continue reading On the Brink: Houston Cougars’ 2016 Commit Valentine Sangoyomi

On the Brink: The Journey for Novian Cherry isn’t Finished, It’s Just Beginning

Artist Robert Wyland once said, "The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and bring external joy to the soul. Novian Cherry pictured here.
Artist Robert Wyland once said, “The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and bring external joy to the soul. Novian Cherry pictured here, is just beginning his basketball journey..

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”

Those words, from the late Arthur Ashe, symbolize the basketball journey that collegiate forward Novian Cherry has been on.

Cherry’s journey hasn’t been an easy one.

He grew up in a single parent household, raised by his mother along with his brothers. He also has had to deal with all the doubters about his game, overcome obstacles in life, and being labelled as the “underdog” more often than not.

Listed with only one year left of eligibility* left in college, it would be assumed that his journey is nearing the finish line.

Instead, Cherry’s journey is just beginning, and he’s looking forward to proving even more people wrong.

Continue reading On the Brink: The Journey for Novian Cherry isn’t Finished, It’s Just Beginning

On the Brink: Independence C.C. Pirates Women’s Basketball Guard Brianna Jackson

After a stellar JUCO career at Independence CC, Brianna Jackson looks to see what her future holds. In my exclusive interview learn why she is “On the Brink” of success on and of the court. Photo Rights to Independence CC Athletics

The late Princess Diana once said ,”Family is the most important thing in the world.”

For Independence Community College Pirates’ women’s basketball sophomore guard Brianna Jackson, the game of basketball means that she can play not only for her family, but more important people as well.

As a freshman, Jackson averaged 13.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game, while shooting 45.5% from the field, 31.7% from three point range, and 75.2% from the free throw line.

Jackson’s 13.7 points and 2.9 assists per game were tops on the team, while her 3.5 rebounds per game were the third-best mark on the team.

As a sophomore, she led her team in scoring for the second straight year. Jackson finished this past season averaging  15.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game, while shooting 41.5% from the field and 33.0% from three point land.

Even though her career at Independence Community College has recently finished, what’s next for Brianna Jackson’s basketball career is uncertain. She is still ‘On the Brink’ of great success, both on and off the court.

In this exclusive interview with Brianna Jackson, learn why she plays for not only family and friends, but for her city and God, how she was able to maintain a 3.5 G.P.A., how her mother is her biggest role model, and more,

Continue reading On the Brink: Independence C.C. Pirates Women’s Basketball Guard Brianna Jackson

On the Brink: LaGuardia CC Women’s Basketball Freshman Lexis Valentin

Lexis Valentin has a dream of playing on TV one day so her grandmother, who is unable to travel to see her games live, can witness her play the game she loves.
Lexis Valentin has a dream of playing on TV one day so her grandmother, who is unable to travel to see her games live, can witness her play the game she loves. Photo courtesy of Lexis Valentin’s Instagram

The late Audrey Hepburn once said, “The most important thing is to enjoy your life- to be happy- it’s all that matters.”

For freshman guard Lexis Valentin, this message holds true.

Valentin is a freshman guard for the LaGuardia Community College Red Hawks, and plays under head coach Anthony Alfaro.

Valentin finished this season averaging  10.6 points, 2.3 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 35.3% from the field, 34.7% from three point range, and 69.6% from the free throw line.

In our interview with the freshman guard, we discuss who she looks up to in the basketball world, her love for God and the game of basketball, and the culture she is a part of.

Continue reading On the Brink: LaGuardia CC Women’s Basketball Freshman Lexis Valentin

On the Brink: Community College of Beaver County Wing Deon Baker Jr.

All rights to joshuada@atkinsstudio.net
All rights to joshuada@atkinsstudio.net
The late English writer Samuel Johnson once said, “Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.”

In the junior college basketball world, Johnson’s words hold true for our next featured interviewed junior college men’s basketball player.

This week’s “On the Brink” selection played his two seasons at the Community College of Beaver County for head coach Steve Brodzinski. He finished this season averaging 10.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 56.1% from the field as a 6’6”,  220pound guard/forward.

That player is sophomore Deon Baker Jr.

Baker currently holds Division I offers from the St. Francis (PA) Red Flash, Youngstown State Penguins, and Grambling State Tigers.

Learn Baker’s story of what basketball means to him, why he plays for God, and a whole lot more!

Continue reading On the Brink: Community College of Beaver County Wing Deon Baker Jr.

On the Brink: LaGuardia CC Red Hawks Freshman Guard Briana Johnson

All rights to Brandon Charlton, and LAGCC Athletics
All rights to Brandon Charlton, and LAGCC Athletics

Freshman guard Briana Johnson did it all for the LaGuardia Community College Red Hawks this past season. Johnson’s efforts, both offensively and defensively, provided a spark for the Red Hawks. Johnson led the team in scoring, averaging 15.5 points per game, while finishing fourth of the team with 4.2 rebounds and second in three pointers made.

Based on her performance on the court and praise off the court, Johnson’s story is one that needed to be told. She is this week’s featured interview in the weekly column, “On the Brink.”

Learn her journey from her basketball lineage, why she enjoys taking charges, why she wants to be remembered as a leader, but most importantly, why she is out to prove people wrong.

Continue reading On the Brink: LaGuardia CC Red Hawks Freshman Guard Briana Johnson