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DDCC Storm headed to big show

It’s wheels-up for the top-seeded STORM men’s basketball team on Sunday as they head into the 2021 NJCAA Division II national tournament in Danville, Illinois — a year after they had to give up their 2020 bid when the tournament was cancelled due to COVID. But the STORM only gained strength over the past year.

 

“What a great feeling to be headed to Illinois this weekend as the #1 seed,” said Matt Ridge, head coach of the STORM. “Coming off our Region 10 championship win last Saturday, and our regular season championship, the team is fired up for a great tournament. Most importantly, these guys have their hearts in the game and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

 

Ridge is the Division II Coach of the Year. Guard LJ Rogers was voted 3rd Team All Region 10, Forward Na’Zae Baltimore voted 1st Team All Region 10, and Guard Javeon Jones voted 1st Team All Region 10 and Region 10 All American Nominee.

 

Davidson-Davie President Darrin Hartness thinks the STORM’s accomplishments are noteworthy. “For this team to be in only its third year of the more competitive Division II, and to have made it to the national championship twice, this year as the #1 seed, it’s nothing short of incredible,” Hartness said. “This record really says a lot about the dedication of our players and coaches, and the support of our campus and community for our entire athletic program here at the college.”

 

In order to make this year’s tournament possible, strict COVID protocols are in place for players and coaches, with negative COVID tests or full vaccinations required. Most of the STORM chose vaccination, with the help of the Davidson County Health Department. The team laughed and joked together, trying to calm their nerves about the needle and posing for photos with health department employees.

 

The Storm plays Tuesday at 2 p.m. EST against Oakland Community College from Auburn Hills, Michigan. Games are live-streamed at njcaa.org/network.