We’re Playing Basketball

SSUMB Season Kickoff



The 2021-22 Men’s Basketball team.

Rachel Clingman, Staff Reporter

Pack the gyms, Shawnee State University Men’s Basketball is back in action and starting their season full force! The Bears are coming off a hot season last year where they went 31-2 overall, had a 27 game win streak, and came home NAIA National Champions with the win over Lewis-Clark State College, with the final score an impressive 74-68. The team has successfully started their season with a 4-1 record, starting with their game opener against Wilberforce University taking the win with a 94-86 final score. Turning over into their games facing Union College, winning with 62-57 and a recent win over West Virginia Institute of Technology presenting a final score of 93-62.

Coached by DeLano Thomas, who is starting his 5th year of coaching for SSU, he has shaped this program and created the very talented team that they have for the 2021-2022 season. Coach Thomas was asked what has been some key factors to their success here at the start of this season and he stated that “the carryover from last year and finishing their last game on a win” has been a part of their successful jumpstart to the season. He also mentioned that “having most of the team here over the summer allowed them to build a good team bond.” Anyone who has been a part of a team knows that the first step to success is through trust and the bond you build with your teammates. There is no doubt that through their talent, hard work and family-like bond this team has every opportunity to come out this season just as successful as the last.

Fans in the Stands 

Throughout these past few years the world has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside the pandemic, there have been many “normal” things taken away and day to day life has been altered. During 2021-2022, Shawnee State University was doing everything in their power to keep students on campus and able to continue in their academic and athletic endeavors. Part of this meant no spectators at any sporting events hosted at Shawnee. While it saddened athletes and fans alike, health and safety were prioritized. Livestreams were posted and fans stayed connected as much as they could. In comparison to this season, while masks are still required, fans have been welcomed back into the gym! The first three home games of the season have been packed and full of energetic fans who are ready to cheer on the Bears for the remainder of their season. SSUMB wing Issac Abergut was asked how it has been transitioning from very little to no fans last season to a packed gym this year. He stated, “it’s different and there is a lot more energy at the games. It is a lot more fun having everyone else there this year.” 

Abergut also spoke about the difference that the crowd energy makes when playing, stating that they “feed off the energy. The fans play a big role in how we play.” A talented team and a gym packed with fans? That seems like it is a successful combination. 

A lot of season left 

While the SSU Mens Basketball team is off to a hot start, there are a lot of minutes left in their season. But, the Bears are ready and have many goals for the season! Coach Thomas states that one main goal for the team is “to come together. To bring a very talented group of individuals together and to fall in love with the idea of being a team, winning games will be easier and it will allow us to do it the right way. Through that main goal, everybody’s individual goals can be accomplished by sacrificing for the team.” A huge thanks to Coach Thomas, Issac Abergut and the rest of the SSU Mens basketball team for continuing to work hard and show what being a Bear is all about. Basketball fans, take advantage of the next 13 home games, get in the gym and cheer this team on. Here’s to a season of energetic fans, accomplished goals and a lot wins! Go out and support the SSUMB team and as always, Go Bears!

The Link to the SSU Mens Basketball team schedule for the rest of the season: http://www.ssubears.com/schedule/36/12.php