South Georgia Tech’s Lady Jets head coach James Frey selected as GCAA Coach of Year; three Lady Jets earn top honors for 2019 – 2020
South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head basketball coach James Frey was selected as the women’s Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) Division I Co-Coach of the Year for 2019 – 2020 and Lady Jets sophomore Shamari Tyson earned the Player of the Year honors, announced GCAA Commissioner David Elder. Tyson and two other members of the 2019 – 2020 Lady Jets were also selected to the GCAA first and second team All-Region teams.
The GCAA women’s Division I Basketball coaches selected the All-Region team, along with selecting the Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and Coach of the Year for 2019-2020 recently, said GCAA Commissioner Elder. Frey along with SGTC Lady Jets Shamari Tyson, Yasriyyah Wazeerud-Din and Anna McKendree were tapped for the GCAA Women’s basketball Division I All-Region honors
This was the sixth time in eight years as head coach of the Lady Jets at South Georgia Technical College that James Frey was selected as the GCAA Coach of Year or Co-Coach. He was first tapped in 2013 – 2014 after guiding his team to the GCAA Championship in only his second year as a head coach. He was selected again in 2015 – 2016, shared the honor in 2016 – 2017 and earned the title again in 2017 – 2018 and 2018 – 2019 and is now sharing the honor again in 2019 – 2020 with East Georgia State Coach Warren Goosby.
“It’s an honor to be voted by my peers as Coach of the Year,” said Frey. “We have worked really hard to build the program the right way; by recruiting quality people who are very good student athletes and who buy into our goal of maintaining excellence on and off the court. This award isn’t about me. Honestly, it’s about our assistant coaches who work tirelessly in recruiting our type of student-athletes and then developing them. It’s about the administration who supports our efforts. It’s about the young people who make the decision to come to our small community and then work so hard to be great. This is a team award and I am really happy more for the college, the assistant coaches, and players more than I am for myself.”
While Frey was modest about his accomplishments at the helm of the Lady Jets, he was excited that this season the Lady Jets compiled a 17 – 0 unbeaten record against the GCAA opponents. This was the second unbeaten regular season record that Coach Frey and the Lady Jets have compiled in the past two years. The returning sophomores Yasriyyah Wazeerud-Din, Anna McKendree, Amara Edeh, and Oumy Gueye have a 35 – 0 regular season record during their two years playing and studying at South Georgia Technical College. Two other sophomores, Shamari Tyson and Niya Goudelock transferred to South Georgia Tech after playing their freshman season at another college.
“I am excited for the Lady Jets to have that accomplishment,” explained Frey. “They can all remember that they were a part of an undefeated conference team. However, the real work begins now. We have to step up and finish the drill.”
Frey also had words of praise for sophomores Shamari Tyson, Yasriyyah Wazeerud-Din and Anna McKendree who were singled out for the first and second team All-Region honors for their play on the court this season.
“I’m very pleased our conference coaches saw fit to place three of our young ladies on the all-conference teams. I am very proud of each and every one of these young ladies. They deserve this and more,” said Coach Frey. “Each one has worked really hard this season.”
Shamari Tyson, a sophomore guard from Fort Wayne, IN, and Yasriyyah Waseerud-Din, a sophomore forward from Marietta, Georgia, were both named to the first team All-Region team and then sophomore guard Anna McKendree fom Flowery Branch, GA, was selected for the All-Region second team. Ka’Shay Hankerson from East Georgia State College was the Freshman of the Year and Laurie Thomas from Central Georgia Technical College was the Defensive Player of the Year.
Joining SGTC’s Tyson and Wazeerud-Din on the first team All-Region squad was Jahnaria Brown of Georgia Highlands College, along with Central Georgia Tech’s Thomas and East Georgia State’s Ka’Shay Hankerson.
SGTC’s Anna McKendree along with Alissa Jones of Albany Technical College, Ayana Collins of Central Georgia Tech, Taliah Wesley from Andrew College and Mahogany Brown of Albany Technical College were the players selected to the All-Region second team.
“I am so proud of the way Shamai Tyson has led our team this season,” said Coach Frey. “She is the leading scorer in the GCAA Division I league with a total of 402 points this season. She is also the best three point percentage shooter hitting 47.8 percent of her shots. Yasriyyah Wazerrud-Din was second with a 46.9 three-point percentage shooting average and Anna McKendree was third hitting 41.9 percent of her three-point shots. Tyson and Wazeerud-Din are also averaging 14.4 and 15.1 points per game. These three players along with our other sophomores and freshman and the way they work together are the reason we were able to go 17 – 0 this season,” said Frey.
“There were only 10 young ladies named All-Region, so for us to have three of them, it speaks volumes about the way they have approached the season and handled their business. Now they have to finish the drill!” said Frey.
As the GCAA top-ranked team, the SGTC Lady Jets will host the NJCAA Region XVII tournament on Friday, February 28th and Saturday, February 29th. The Lady Jets will face East Georgia in the semi-final game on Friday, February 28th followed by a match-up between Georgia Highlands and Central Georgia Tech at 8 p.m. East Georgia defeated Andrew College 74 – 49 in the quarterfinals and Central Georgia Tech defeated Albany Tech 81 – 62 in the other quarterfinal contest to advance to the semi-final round.
The two semi-final game winners will advance to the final game at 2 p.m. Saturday, February 29th in the Hangar on the SGTC Americus campus. The winner of the NJCAA Region XVII tournament will travel to the NJCAA District J championship game the following week for the opportunity to advance to the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas.