Many changes have occurred in the Eagles' basketball program over the last 12 months. Longtime Lady Eagles' skipper Rosalind Jennings left the program to take a job at a four-year school in Texas. To fill the vacancy, Men's Coach Trent Eager will now direct both squads. To help, the Eagles have added two new assistant coaches to the roster James Cole and Mandee Armstrong.
Cole, a native of Mississippi, graduated from Magee High School then played basketball at Wesley College in Florence, Mississippi. He graduated from Pearl River Community College in 2002 and the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004 with a Bachelor's Degree in Coaching and Sports Administration. He has coached extensively on the high school level all over Mississippi, including a three-year stint at Greenwood High School where his teams averaged more than 20 wins per season. From 2013-14, he was an assistant coach for the 2014 national championship team for Jones County Junior College. He has won numerous coaching awards and has also served as an instructor for summer basketball camps at the Univesity of Southern Mississippi and Colorado State University. He and his wife, Chamekia, have two sons and a daughter – Joshua, Jordan and Camryn.
Armstrong, a native of Florida, had an outstanding career playing college basketball for the Troy University Lady Trojans. From 1993-1997, Armstrong collected numerous records, including scoring more than 1,600 points in her career. During her four-year stint with the Lady Trojans, she averaged 17.1 points per game and 7.6 rebounds, which keeps her in the top-10 of those categories to the present day. She graduated from Troy in 1997 with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. After college, she played professionally in Luxembourg and Sweden before coming back home to pursue a career in law enforcement, currently serving as an investigator for the Monroeville Police Department. In 2012, she earned her Master's Degree in Administration of Justice and Security.
Cole and Armstrong join longtime volunteer assistant Roy Maye in guiding the Eagle programs.
Eager said he has embraced the changes in the program.
"It's going to be different," he said. "However, I am looking at it as an opportunity to expand on what we were doing with the men to be able to help the women develop their skills so they can move on to the next level. I am looking forward to working with the new assistants and doing what we can to improve both programs."
Both ASCC teams have a lot of returning talent. They both have a lot of sophomores returning on each team.
For the Eagles, the returners include two cornerstones in the forms of 6'7 forward Charlie Wilson and 6'4 guard Don Speake.
"Those two are going to be key," Eager said. "Together, they accounted for more than 20 points a game last year. That gives us a foundation to build on."
They are joined by fellow sophomores Jordan Roethler, Zanavian Williams, Traevon Gresham, Vantrail Commings, Ryan Watkins and De'Eljon Nettles.
For the Lady Eagles, the team returns sophomore forward Jasmine McCants, who averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game and was chosen first team, all-region. Joining McCants are fellow sophomores Lakeisha Pickens, Amber Roberts, Jasman Hamilton and Ieisha Hopwood.
Newcomers to the Eagles include freshmen Xavier Johnson, Jordan Moses, Antonio Chapman, Johnny Stallworth, Desmond Williams, Josue Levy, Earl Brown and Caleb Provitt.
Lady Eagles freshmen include Niadasha Green, Oleightra Nance, Santremica Howard, Alexandria Guice, Cindy Brown, Detoria Parker, Shayla Brewton and Lakeyia Dejarnette.
The Eagles open the season on the road Oct. 31-Nov. 1 in Bay Minette at the Faulkner State Tournament. The first home game will be against East Mississippi Community College on Nov. 4. Tipoff for the Lady Eagles will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Cooper Center in Monroeville followed by the Eagles at 7:30. For more on the team, visit www.ascc.edu.
Pictured is Trent Eager