The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

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Men’s Basketball Team is Dribbling Over Adversities

Photo courtesy Bucks athletics website

Bucks County Community College’s men’s basketball team dribbles over adversities throughout their season and grows more potent as a team and family after each obstacle as they continue to have a strong season.

The Centurions were facing uncertainty as their season approached with no new coach until the recent hire, Farrad McLaughlin, was employed late in the season. Prior to Bucks, McLaughlin has 8 years of experience coaching college basketball at Cairn and the Indian University of Pennsylvania. Coach also currently teaches special education in Philadelphia when he is not with his team.

Coach McLaughlin had to face a late season by holding tryouts instead of practice the first week. Also handling their first game of the season with no assistant coach.

A month later, new assistant coach Brian Tumpowsky, was hired to join the Centurians. Before joining the team Tumpowksy was the founder, director, and head coach of PG Hoops, which is an AAU program located in Central Jersey.

Despite the shaky start, coach McLaughlin is most proud of building trust with his players in such a short amount of time. Mclauglin adds, “They listen to me during game plans and trust me-my players are like sponges, they want to learn and change their mindsets for better performance.”

Coach McLaughlin not only brings advice to the court for his student-athletes but also chooses to stay transparent with his background and personal life to set an example. Through his guidance, the Bucks men’s basketball team has been using any available time to further their relationship as a team to strengthen their skills.

McLaughlin believes in building a framework for the team to set a structure,“I like to form the foundation first, this mean the basics like going over plays,” says McLaughlin.

Components of the framework also include having points and principles as well. The team focuses on principles the most where they might discuss factors such as defensive skills.

The players adapted to their new coaching system well and realized how everyone has their specific role that is important for their triumph. The coaches recognized how the team “began to flow with each other” in quick time.

Outside of training during practices, the team will meet together in the study halls for academic responsibilities and hold team meetings, but McLaughlin talked about how most of the bonding happens during their team meals. “Stopping at some of our favorite places after games like Wing Stop, Chick-Fil-A, or Wendy’s is when we can sit down and really get to know each other.”

Not only has the team been taking the time to work on themselves but they also see the importance of giving back to the community. On Jan. 16 the men’s basketball team teamed up with the women’s basketball team by holding a “Drills and Skills Event” for the public.

During the event, local kids were encouraged to come onto campus to learn some new basketball skills. Coach McLaughlin saw this not only as an opportunity for the team to give back to others, but also to give the athletes experience with coaching.

While the road to victory looked bumpier in the beginning the team is conquering their conference playoff with a record of 3 wins and 1 loss so far. Their game plan for the rest of the season is to “get better every day by being the best we can be” as they strive to play in the championship.

Coach McLaughlin is excited for the rest of the season as they aim for their goals and continue to watch his players grow as they reach their next destination in their athletic journey. McLaughlin has high hopes for the men since they play numerous 4-year universities which also serves as scouting opportunities in the program.

McLaughlin respects his players for their ability to basketball at the junior college level McLaughlin stated “which is always a grind no matter what.” The team is always looking for recruits in the local Bucks or Philadelphia communities.