Columbia’s basketball team continues to work hard

By Etheria Modacure

There aren’t media days for the Columbia Renegades men’s basketball team. No cheerleaders give the team a confidence boost at games. Without tall position players, the Renegades will have a difficult time matching up against their opponents this season, according to team president Benjamin Kolman, sophomore audio arts and acoustics major.

The Renegades finished last season 0-12 and lack the size needed to post up or block shots, however they continue to work hard in their basketball games. Those games are similar to their practices.

According to Kolman, the Renegades are given one hour of practice time per week. Most college basketball and high school teams have much more time dedicated to practicing and setting plays.

Columbia’s men’s basketball team holds its practices at South Loop Elementary School, 1212 S. Plymouth Court, which has a small gym and isn’t the ideal place for any team higher than grade school to be practicing, according to Kolman.

“We don’t have [many] practices, so we don’t really run plays all that often because we don’t have the time to set up for them,” Kolman said.

All of the Renegades basketball games are played at their opponents’ home court. Because it is a club team, the Renegades aren’t playing against competition in any collegiate conference.

Without a better amount of time dedicated to getting practices in, the Renegades rely on games to be their practices and see what changes need to be made during their contests against its opponents.

Basketball played like this can never build any consistency, but players from the team are able to get workouts in throughout the week, according to Cleve Minter Jr., a music major and one of the Renegades’ captains.

All club teams at Columbia are supported by their participants. Workouts are difficult when the one fitness center on campus doesn’t have enough space to help each person, according to Kolman.

“There’s times [we] go to the gym and every single treadmill is [being used],” Kolman said. “Mark [Brticevich, coordinator of Fitness, Athletics and Recreation,] has been really accommodating and he helps us out as much as he can. All he requires is for us to go there.”

The Renegades also have to play their games with white home jerseys, as former players in the past took home the road jerseys, according to Kolman.

“We have to call every team, and it’s kind of embarrassing [to] say, ‘We don’t have away jerseys, can we play in home jerseys?’” Kolman said.

Playing games up to an hour away from campus doesn’t help build any support among the student body as the Renegades will not play any games in Chicago before the end of the semester.

The teams’ next two contests will be against Elgin Community College on Nov. 20 and Kishwaukee College on Dec. 4. All of the Renegades games are scheduled on Saturday afternoons so there will be no conflicts with any of the players class schedules.

“People would like to come to games, if our games were close enough,” Kolman said while the Renegades were practicing.

According to Kolman ,the team usually calls its opponents before the semester, to ask if they would like to play any games.

For the team to play consistently, Kolman said it’s going to take better effort from the Renegades starting five players through practices and contributions from the bench to help them compete. The team has 15 players according to Kolman.

Minter said if the team had better support from Columbia and more funding, everything would take care of itself.

“We’ll be better than what we are [as a team] and we’ll be noticed and recognized by a lot of other schools and people,” Minter said.

Kolman and Minter said they believe the team is on the cusp of doing good things on the basketball court. Minter said the team has more talent than last season, and it will begin to show in its upcoming games.

“[There’s] going to be clashing but once we start gelling, we do pretty good as a team,” Minter said. “Hard workers make a winning team, [and] that’s what we [are].”