By Michael Dominguez
East Los Angeles College men’s basketball team went on to have one of its best seasons ever winning 29 games and only losing one game and went on to be undefeated in conference play.
This is the 8th straight year that the team has won 20 games or more. The team’s only loss this season was to Copper Mountain College, by a score of 78-76, in a winter preseason tournament in San Bernardino. After that loss at the start of season, ELAC went on to win 25 games in a row. The team went on to average 87.8 points per game on the season along with holding the opposition to just 40 percent on the field in the season. That was enough as they proved to be one of the best teams in the state and made it to the playoffs to become one of the eight teams for a chance to win a state title.
They were one of the favorites to win it along with San Francisco Community college as only they had a better record then ELAC at 30-0 on the season. Unfortunately due to the pandemic across the world, all sports were cancelled so ELAC’s dream season to win its first state title was cut short.
Head Coach John Mosley talked about the whole situation going on and his team not being able to compete for a state title. Mosley said, “They felt like they were the better team. They worked hard and players were crying in the locker room” knowing they wouldn’t get the chance to play for the state title.
Mosley and his Assistant coach Ken Hunter were recognized by Silver Waves media.com as one of the top 50 most influential coaches, with Mosely at number 12 and Hunter at number 24.
Mosley said “Im grateful for the players and staff and they elevate each other to do better”
ELAC men’s basketball is also not winning just on the court they are winning off the court and in the classroom as the team as a whole avg a 3.4 GPA as the team has 5 players who have signed letters of intent to play basketball at division 1 or division 2 schools, As three more players are still deciding where they want to continue their studies and where to play.
The team will be losing key players that will help them win the amount of games they once did. one player is two-way-guard Deshuan Highler, who Avg 12 points while shooting 42 percent from the field on the season. Highler started his College Career at the University of Texas at El Paso in El Paso, Texas.before coming to ELAC. He will continue to play and study at the University of Sacramento State. They will also lose starting point guard, Levelle Zeigler, who averaged 9.5 points and 4.1 assists a game.Zeigler will now be heading to Chicago State University. Zeigler, in an interview with Bakersfield.com, talked about his Commitment to Chicago State. Zeigler said, “It means a lot, especially coming from a JUCO.” “It’s hard to get a scholarship from a (junior college) so it means a lot to me and my family”
Zeigler would be joined with his ELAC teammate guard, Jordan Polynice, who also committed to Chicago State. Polynice averaged 7.5 per game and 36 percent from the three point line in 29 games played this season. They will also be losing a couple of big men in Malik Muhommad who avg 9.6 points a game with 7 rebounds and 50 percent from the three point line Muhommad is committed to Central Michigan.
Along with Marquise Copeland who will head to Nyack College, a division 2 college in New York. Men’s basketball loses talent every two years due to players transferring and graduating. Mosely, when asked how he keeps replacing and winning 20 more games every year said, “We have a stable program in the city. The guys like to win and most importantly, we graduate and transfer our guys to (division) D1 D2 programs.”
The Huskies had help from freshmen sensation guard /forward Kealen Allen out of Westchester High School. Allen had 18 points and 9.5 rebounds this season, earning him a spot on the All State Team. That is equivalent to being an All American in the National Collegiate Athletic Association . Due to Allen’s achievements and incredible athletic ability, he has gotten offers from Pac -12 programs such as Arizona St ,Arizona, Washington State and Oregon State along with other top schools. Allen is drawing comparisons to NBA legend and College legend Larry Johnson, who played for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the 1990s and went on to be the number one pick of the NBA draft in 1991. Allen said, “Getting the offers is pretty cool, couldn’t have done it without my team or my coaches.It feels good to be recognized by them. It just lets me know I’m on the right path.”
Mosley said, “He is a player we can build around and to make him a top 5 player in JUCO is something that we at ELAC can be very proud of.”