South Georgia Tech Booster Club honors Jets and Lady Jets
“A very special year” was the way South Georgia Technical College Jets Booster Club President Martha Arrington summed up the 2021 – 2022 basketball season for the Jets and Lady Jets at the Booster Club Awards/Recognition banquet held in the John M. Pope Industrial Technology Center on the Americus campus recently. The Booster Club celebrated the Jets and Lady Jets for both earning the right to advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournaments in Hutchinson, Kansas, and Lubbock, Texas.
This was the Lady Jets sixth consecutive NJCAA National Tournament appearance and their ninth overall. The Lady Jets finished the season with a 27 – 7 overall record and a sweet 16 finish in the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas. They also set a new NJCAA record for allowing the least amount of points ever in a national tournament game when they held Monroe College to just 26 points in 40-minutes.
The Jets earned a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas by upsetting Georgia Highlands in the GCAA conference tournament in Rome, Georgia and winning the NJCAA Region 17 Championship. They were one of only 24 men’s teams to earn the right to advance to the NJCAA national tournament. They were 22 – 12 on the year. This was their third trip to the national tournament in 20 years and the first since 2014.
“I would like to thank everyone responsible for the successes that the Jets and Lady Jets have had this season, but it is especially important to recognize the student-athletes,” said SGTC President Dr. John Watford. “Thank you, players for a year, we will never forget. I think it was Jalen Reynolds who posted on social media, ‘I’ve got friends for life because of relationships we have built here.’ We feel the same way. And I am appreciative of Martha Arrington and the Booster Club for allowing us to recognize each of you tonight for your successes.”
Lady Jets redshirt sophomore guard Kamya Hollingshed from Locust Grove, Georgia, was recognized by South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey as the Most Valuable Player of the Year for his team. She was also a Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) All-Region and GCAA All-Academic team member.
“Kamya is an inspiration and I know the hard work and dedication that she put in to come back after two injuries, which could have ended her career. We wouldn’t have won 27 games this season without Kamya Hollingshed and her three-point shooting in the Gulf Coast overtime game. She hit 105 three-pointers this season and did all that we needed her to do as a player/leader,” said Coach Frey.
He also praised each of the other players and mentioned that freshman Alexia Dizeko was the GCAA Freshman of the Year, GCAA All-Region, GCAA All-Tournament, NJCAA All-American second team and WBCA All-American. Freshman Fanta Gassama was also an NJCAA and WBCA All-American Honorable Mention as well as GCAA All-Region and All-Tournament.
Jets first year head coach Chris Ballauer selected sophomore guard Marvin McGhee as the Most Valuable Player for the Jets for the 2021 – 2022 season. McGhee was an NJCAA All-American Second team nominee, the GCAA Player of the Year, GCAA All-Region, and GCAA All-Tournament team member.
“This was a great group of young men,” said Coach Ballauer. “We started with 11 guys and finished the season with nine players who believed in a first-time head coach. They were able to accomplish what many other people could not and one day they will realize how special this is. And even more importantly these guys will leave South Georgia Tech with degrees and a confidence that they put in the work and the time to achieve this.” Ballauer mentioned that the Jets had two All-Americans in two years, four All-Academic players, All-Region, and All-Tournament players this season.
Booster Club President Martha Arrington told the Jets and Lady Jets players she believes the players have “bright futures and much success ahead. This has been a very special year and I have enjoyed watching both the Jets and the Lady Jets on and off the court. They have accomplished so much and I am very excited for the program because of their success.”
Coach Frey thanked assistant coach Demetrius Colson and Adenike Aderinto for their help and hard work this season. He also commended Jets first year head coach Chris Ballauer and first year Jets assistant coach Jaren Harris and their dedication to the program and teams.
Frey also thanked President Dr. John Watford, the Booster Club, the Administrators and the faculty and staff. “I look forward to coming to work every day. “This is a very special place and I feel fortunate to work here. This is my 10th year here and 33rd year in college athletics. When people ask me how long I will be here, my answer is always as long as they will have me. We have tremendous support from our administration and I hope we get to do this many more years.”