Owens Community College men's basketball begins the 2001-2002 campaign this weekend hosting the Tip-Off Classic. The Express will play Friday and Saturday, November 2-3 against Mercyhurst Northeast and Triton Community College.
The Owens men's basketball program is led by Head Coach Jim Welling. In his 16 years as the head basketball coach at Owens, he has led the Express to many notable achievements including two NJCAA Division II National Championships in 1992 and 1993. Holding a 415-96 (.81%) record, during the 2000-2001 season he won his 400th coaching victory at Owens and was named the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference "Coach of the Year". His Assistant Coaches are Leroy King and Jack Trainer.
The Express ended last year with a 31-4 record advancing to the championship games of the OCCAC and NJCAA Region XII tournaments. They captured the OCCAC regular season title and were ranked No. 1 among NJCAA Division II teams during the year.
Welling has three players returning from last year's team, including Kendon Edwards of Waukegan, Illinois (Waukegan High School). Edwards, a 6-6 forward, was named to the OCCAC All-Tournament team last season. The other two returning players are Lamont Ellis of Cincinnati (Princeton High School)and Bob McDonald of Toledo (Cardinal Stritch High School).
Sophomores on the Express roster include: Anthony Kyle of Elkhart, Indiana, (Elkhart Central High School), Branden Joseph of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (Milwaukee Bay View High School) and James Moore of Cincinnati (Archbishop McNicholas High School).
The freshmen players are: JaMar Wesley of Canton (Canton McKinley High School), Mark Church of Columbus (Westland High School), Marques Fobbs of Toledo (Libbey High School), Justin Freer of St. Joseph, Michigan, (Stevensville/Lakeshore High School), Ricardo Lucas of Ann Arbor, Michigan, (Ann Arbor High School), Phil McDaniel of Canton (Glen Oak High School), Carlen Pittman of Cincinnati (Wyoming High School) and Anton Smith of Cleveland (Shaker Heights High School).
Editor's Note: Coach Welling can be reached at (567) 661-7229.
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