The JJC Lady Wolves basketball team is back in business and ready to devour the competition this fall yet again.
The ladies are hitting the weights and getting back into rhythm after an electrifying 25 wins and eight losses over the 2017-18’ season and nearly clenching the NJCAA region IV championship title.
The wolves look forward to topping those past records with dedicated mindsets of winning the conference title, winning the reginal and district tournament, and competing on a national level dominating the best of the best with new and returning talent.
Leading the wolf pack is two-time N4C conference and NCJAA region IV Coach of the Year Shaun Sanders.
This will be Sanders 11th season as head coach of the lady wolves and credits his success to the love and passion for the sport. Consistently sharing his wisdom and knowledge to help develop student athletes, he hopes to take their game to the next level.
He has devoted his life to see the team win on and off the court.
“I love the game and the relationships I have developed with coaches around the country,” he says, “more importantly, it gives me an opportunity to help develop student athletes basketball and life skills.”
Sanders is also known for having an eye for recruitment with helping local talent step their game up, making it easier for them to reach success on their journey after JJC.
“We look for some sort of skill. An average shooter, good ball handler, good defender, good rebounder or anything that we can blend together to make us a good team. If the student-athlete is dedicated to becoming a better player, then JJC is the place for them,” Sanders says.
And Sanders is a man of his word.
In Sanders’s 11 years of head coaching at the college, he’s had 16 all-conference players, 12 all-tournament players, 11 all-regional players, two All-American, and three academic All-Americans.
With a new season on the way means there will be some new faces. Sanders was able to name a couple new players who he was exciting to work with and help evolve and progress their skills on the court.
Lynese Johnson, Amil Mitchell, Maiya Creal & transfer student Emily Atsinger are all new faces that Coach Sanders feels confident about and “will be major contributors with their abilities to score and high basketball IQ’s.”
Johnson and Atsinger are both extremely excited for the season to finally start.
Johnson herself is looking forward to a fun season that involves events getting the team together, and it is a new start for her since she’s a freshman at JJC.
“I’m super excited, I’m super happy for it. It’s a great opportunity to be here at JJC with a great coaching staff and everything. The facilities are great so I’m looking forward to a great season,” Johnson said.
The team has been doing multiple scrimmages and Atsinger is ready to start the official season finally.
“I think we have a really nice roster and we all get along really well. I think we’re going to go very far. I’m looking forward to winning for sure; I think we’re going to win a lot,” said Atsinger.
An exciting and anticipated return to the JJC hardwood is Sophomore Talia Edwards from Bolingbrook.
Edwards is coming of a spectacular freshmen season averaging 8.3 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game, and scoring at a 46.6% field goal percentage making her a lethal competitor in the paint.
Edwards was also chosen to play in the 2018 NJCAA Women’s All-Star Basketball game in Atlanta, Georgia, making her presence known early on for coaches at 4-year universities from all across the nation.
With more of feel for the games tempo, she is bound to become a tremendous impact in every game.
Edwards says that she is looking forward to see what they can do as a team because she’s a sophomore now and there are seven freshmen and she’s excited to see what all they can do.
”I love the heart that goes into playing basketball, and I love the heart that the freshmen bring to the game of basketball,” Edwards says.
She also believes that JJC needs a womens sports team to finally be brought to the forefront. “I’m really looking forward [to the season], I think we
can go to nationals. And that’s something a JJC’s womens sport needs and I think we’re the team to do it.”
The Lady Wolves will be kicking off the start to their season on Saturday, Nov. 10 against McHenry County College.