Siloam Springs, Ark. (November 5, 2001) - With the return of six seniors and the addition of one more in transfer Chris Cameron, the John Brown University Golden Eagles hope to write the last chapter in what has been a long list of accomplishments over the past three seasons. The class of 2002 has already had a hand in changing the Golden Eagles record book, including 55 wins over the past three seasons and a John Brown University first ever NAIA Division I top 25 ranking. These are just a few of the reasons why the upcoming season has stirred a buzz of excitement around the Golden Eagles basketball program.
“We have had a number of impact classes go through our program the past twelve seasons. Each one has done its part in taking our program to a new level. The Class of 2002 has a chance to write a storybook ending. Seniors usually have the motivation. They know their time is now,” head coach John Sheehy commented about his seniors.
A first ever trip to Municipal Arena in Kansas City for the NAIA Division I National Tournament often enters the minds of the Golden Eagles; however, focus remains on the task ahead. “We try and focus on effort and commitment. If you concentrate on those concepts, then winning, losing and the post season take care of themselves,” commented Sheehy about the team’s focus.
The aim of opponents will be containing NAIA All-American Jahir Mejia. Mejia, a 6’7” power forward is coming off a record setting season where he led JBU in scoring (19.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.97 rpg). By focusing on Mejia, opponents might just be opening a floodgate of trouble from the outside. As a host of sharp shooters, led by SAC All-Conference Honorees Nathan Law and Joe Manthe, once again look to take aim from behind the arc. Forward Aldo Mckay and point guard Simeon Hinsey, both major contributors last year, round out JBU’s returning starters. Other returnees include senior outside threats Dru Wheatcroft and Brian Matchell, reserve point guard Abdiel Mendietta, and forwards Pat Smits and Josh Manthe.
Atop the list of newcomers for the Golden Eagles is Oral Roberts University transfer, Chris Cameron. The 6’5” forward is a multi-dimensional player with both inside and outside capabilities. Another key transfer who should have an early impact is 6’4” sophomore guard Trey Fisher from Hill Junior College. “Chris and Trey both come to JBU with college basketball experience. We look for both of them to help us this season,” commented Sheehy. Other newcomers with bright futures include, in the backcourt, junior transfer Rusty. In the frontcourt, JBU added 6’8” freshman Reyjavick De Gracia. “Our freshman class, we feel, is loaded with potential. They have the luxury of learning and developing under a good group of seniors,” Sheehy added.