The Daily Express

Owens Community College Men's Basketball Begins Home Campaign Against Northeast Mercyhurst

Owens Community College men's basketball begins the 2002-2003 campaign with a season-opening home contest against Northeast Mercyhurst starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 2.

All home games are played at the College's Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) on the Toledo-area Campus, which is located on Oregon Road, four miles from Downtown Toledo. Admission to home games is free.

The Owens men's basketball program is led by Head Coach Jim Welling. In his 17 years as the head basketball coach at Owens, he has guided the Express to many notable achievements including two NJCAA Division II National Championships in 1992 and 1993. Holding a career 446-100 record, Welling was named last year's Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) Coach of the Year, marking the seventh time he has won the award. His Assistant Coaches are Leroy Kelly and Jack Trainer.

During the 2001-2002 season, the Express captured their second consecutive OCCAC regular season championship with a 12-2 conference record, their eighth in the last 12 years. They were defeated by Mott Community College 74-72 in the finals of the NJCAA Region XII Championships ending their season with a 30-4 overall record. The Express were ranked as high as No. 3 in the NJCAA Men's Basketball Division II poll.

"I'm really looking forward to another great season," Welling said. "We have a very talented and experienced group of players returning from last year's championship squad."

Welling added, "With the addition of these 12 incoming first-year student-athletes, I anticipate our basketball program having another successful season."

The Express have four players returning from last year's team, including JaMar Wesley of Canton (Canton McKinley High School). During the 2001-2002 season, the sophomore guard averaged 10 points and four assists per game. His postseason honors included receiving OCCAC Honorable Mention All-Conference recognition.

Among the other returning players to the Express roster are sophomores Mark Church of Columbus, guard/forward (Westland High School); Marques Fobbs of Toledo, guard (Libbey High School), and Justin Freer of St. Joseph, Michigan, guard/forward (Stevensville/Lakeshore High School).

The first-year players are Raynard Alexander of Battle Creek, Michigan, guard (Battle Creek Central High School); Noah Williams of Shaker Heights, guard (Shaker Heights High School); Terrell Brown of Shaker Heights, guard (Shaker Heights High School); Dantigus Martin of Charlotte, North Carolina, guard (South Mecklenburg High School); Dajuan Tate of Columbus, guard/forward (Columbus East High School); Andrew Brown of Pontiac, Michigan, guard (Pontiac Central High School); Kevin Thomas of Detroit, Michigan, guard/forward (Romulus High School); Kevin Shorter of Clinton Township, Michigan, forward (Chippewa Valley High School); Kevin Jones of Toledo, forward (Start High School); Andrae Martin of Ypsilanti, Michigan, forward (Ann Arbor/Huron High School); Ricardo Lucas of Ann Arbor, Michigan, forward (Home Schooled), and Keenan Williams of Silver Spring, Maryland, forward (Paint Branch High School).

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing community college of its size in the nation. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students in Northwest Ohio. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 140 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.

(Posted 10/25/02)

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