Tag Archives: Player Profiles

Family Matters: Quinton Hooker and the Role of Family in his Basketball Journey

The sense of family was a big reason that Quinton Hooker committed to play for North Dakota out of high school, and it's that sense of family and community that has the guard leading the Fighting Hawks to bigger and better things. (Source: UND Athletics)
The sense of family was a big reason that Quinton Hooker committed to play for North Dakota out of high school, and it’s that sense of family and community that has the guard leading the Fighting Hawks to bigger and better things. (Source: UND Athletics)

“The main reason was the family feeling here at UND!”

Those were Quinton Hooker‘s first words when asked about what ultimately led him to commit to the University of North Dakota out of high school back in 2013. It should come as no surprise to anyone close to Hooker, as the sense of family and community have been with him every step of the way in his basketball career.

From the early years, when he was just learning the game, to his career-to-date at North Dakota that saw him get voted the CCR Mid-Major Player of the Year by fans, family and the basketball community have meant a lot to Hooker.

His ‘family’, both bloodline and basketball, have played a big role in shaping the type of person he is, both on and off the court. This is the story of just how much family has played a part in Hooker’s development as one of the nation’s top guards.

Like most players, it all started with his biggest influence in the game.

Dad. Continue reading Family Matters: Quinton Hooker and the Role of Family in his Basketball Journey

On the Brink: Tyrek Coger, A Rebel With a Cause

After a strong junior college career, Tyrek Coger has signed with Ole Miss. Source: All rights to Cape Fear CC,
After a strong junior college career, Tyrek Coger has signed with Ole Miss. Source: All rights to Cape Fear CC,

“One of the happiest moments of my life to be an Ole Miss Rebel. #HottyToddy!”

This was the quote from Tyrek Coger when he announced his commitment to play for the Ole Miss Rebels on November 11th, 2015.

Trent A. Brinkley sits down with Coger to discuss his Ole Miss signing, his connection to Clippers point guard Chris Paul, how he ended up playing for Cape Fear, and all things basketball related.

Continue reading On the Brink: Tyrek Coger, A Rebel With a Cause

On the Brink: JUCO Wing Donte’ Watson Commits to North Carolina A&T

After a strong career with the Copiah-Lincoln Wolfpack, Donte' Watson has committed to play for the North Carolina A&T Aggies. (Souce: Natalie Davis - Co-Lin Media)
After a strong career with the Copiah-Lincoln Wolfpack, Donte’ Watson has committed to play for the North Carolina A&T Aggies. (Souce: Natalie Davis – Co-Lin Media)

The late USA Ice Hockey coach Herb Brooks once said  “Great moments are born from great opportunities.”

In the small town of Wesson, Mississippi, that great moment comes for Copiah-Lincoln sophomore wing Donte’ Watson, who recently seized his great opportunity. Watson describes the great moment in four simple words: “hard work pays off.”

After two impressive years at Copiah-Lincoln, Watson has officially committed to the North Carolina A&T Aggies. Our own Trent A. Brinkley goes in-depth with Donte’ Watson in an exclusive interview about his recent commitment.

Continue reading On the Brink: JUCO Wing Donte’ Watson Commits to North Carolina A&T

Prove ‘Em Wrong: How Mustafaa Jones Has Silenced His Critics Time and Time Again

After putting together one of the best careers by any player to wear a Fairleigh Dickinson jersey, guard Mustafaa Jones brought his talents north of the border to suit up for the Londin Lightning in the NBL Canada. (Source: Stu Switzer)
After putting together one of the best careers by any player to wear a Fairleigh Dickinson jersey, guard Mustafaa Jones brought his talents north of the border to suit up for the Londin Lightning in the NBL Canada. (Source: Stu Switzer)

Not strong enough. Not quick enough. Too small.

These are things that Mustafaa Jones has heard all throughout his basketball journey, from people in and around the game. Being seen as too small, not strong enough, and not quick enough, people were critical of Jones and his abilities. Regardless of what his critics said, there was always one person who knew he had it in him all along.

Mustafaa Jones, himself.

Instead of letting the doubters and non-believers get him down, Jones used it as extra motivation. He knew he had it in him to make it, and did everything he could to make his dream a reality.

Throughout his journey through the ranks, Jones encountered some obstacles that would be insurmountable for most. When his back was firmly against the wall, and others were trying to stack the odds against him, Jones forged his own path, and did what he needed to do to get a step closer to his goal.

When the dust settled, Jones is in the conversation as one of the best players to ever suit up for the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, and he is still on pace to achieve his ultimate dream. Continue reading Prove ‘Em Wrong: How Mustafaa Jones Has Silenced His Critics Time and Time Again

Welcome Home: The Journey of Brandan Kearney That Led Him Back to Detroit and Beyond

Brandan Kearney suited up for three schools over his four years in the NCAA, and now finds himself with the Moncton Miracles of the NBL Canada. Before coming to Moncton, Kearney played for his hometown Detroit Titans to be closer to family, friends, and his daughter. Source: Stu Switzer)
Brandan Kearney suited up for three schools over his four years in the NCAA, and now finds himself with the Moncton Miracles of the NBL Canada. Before coming to Moncton, Kearney played for his hometown Detroit Titans to be closer to family, friends, and his daughter. (Source: Stu Switzer)

The number of player transfers in the NCAA seem to increase year after year, and nobody really knows the real reason why players choose to look for a new home.

Some are looking for more playing time, some are moving due to dismissals from school, and some transfer for family reasons. Ultimately, the list of reasons could go on and on, and you don’t really find the root of the situation unless you take the time to listen to the player tell their side of the story.

Coming out of high school, Brandan Kearney was a coveted prospect. From Southeastern High School in Detroit, MI, he opted to play for the Michigan State Spartans over the likes of the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes, among others.

After two years donning the green and white, Kearney transferred from the program and committed to the Arizona State Sun Devils. One year later, he transferred again, this time to play for his hometown school, the Detroit Titans.

On the surface, most would assume that he was looking for the right fit, or that there was something going on between coach and player.

When you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that there’s more to the story than meets the eye. His journey is one that many in his situation don’t have to go through at his age, but he made the right moves that will set himself and his family up for the best future possible. Continue reading Welcome Home: The Journey of Brandan Kearney That Led Him Back to Detroit and Beyond

Freshman Matt Morgan is Turning into a Star for Cornell

Amidst injuries to several key players for the Big Red, freshman guard Matt Morgan has been a steady force on offense for Cornell, and he is developing into a star in just his first year in the NCAA.
Amidst injuries to several key players for the Big Red, freshman guard Matt Morgan has been a steady force on offense for Cornell, and he is developing into a star in just his first year in the NCAA.

On Friday night, the Cornell Big Red found themselves going on the road in Ivy League play. They were 10-point underdogs, and were taking on the reigning Ivy League champions, the Harvard Crimson.

With key players on the shelf with injuries, all signs pointed to a loss for the Big Red.

Once the game tipped off, the result was never in question.

Cornell took a 15-point lead after the opening 20 minutes, and came away with a massive 77-65 win over the Crimson in Cambridge, MA.

The star of the night? Freshman guard Matt Morgan.

The product of Concord, North Carolina scored a career-high 33 points, including 19 in the second half, to help lead the Big Red to their first conference win of the season.

If you have been following Cornell over the course of 2015-16, you shouldn’t be surprised with Morgan’s performance. He has been a star for the Big Red as a freshman, and it’s about time people start to recognize his talent, and the potential he has to become a household name on the national scene over his collegiate career. Continue reading Freshman Matt Morgan is Turning into a Star for Cornell