Earlier this year, Martin Eggleston, coach of the Commodore’s basketball team at Lorain County Community College, celebrated his 100th win of the season, prompting celebrations of joy and achievement.
But Coach Marty, as he is often called, could not have reached this point alone. For Eggleston his team of 18 players are his everything.
“They are hardworking student-athletes” he said of his players beaming with pride. “It takes a lot of responsibility, time management, and discipline to be a Commodore student-athlete.”
But while Coach Eggleston sees it as their sacrifice for basketball, the team had a different story.
For Javon Todd, “basketball was the only way out to a better life.” As the boys continued, jovially talking over one another and sharing side chats and giggles, the theme of basketball being their lives continued. Anthony Mc- Ghaw echoed Todd’s words, saying “basketball has always been there even if others weren’t.”
The boys then continued to delve into how for some school was not their strong suit, but sports were. Wynston Johnson says, “It’s my last opportunity. I had bad grades in high school but I could play.” Rocky Houston contrasted Johnson by joking that he had good grades, but preferred the sport.
For the boys, basketball and being a part of the team gave them a sense of brotherhood and belonging, with some like Casey Kelley choosing the sport over others. Johnson grew up with the sport as well as many of the boys did and they wanted to continue it through their young adult lives.
Eggleston helped them do this while being a father figure cheering them on around every corner. Jordan McCants says of coach, “he can be a bit much at times but I know he wants the best for us.” McCants is not wrong.
Eggleston sees his boys as winners all the way through and is the first to push them on to their goals. Rocky Houston and Bennet Sulen notice this saying “he never tells us that he thinks we’re gonna lose. There’s never a shadow of a doubt in his mind, even if we feel it.”|
It is the drive, the comradery, the feeling of belonging and in the case of Lemuel Payne III, the feeling of “being a dog” that keeps De’Miko Nelson, Quante May, Anthony McGhaw, Lemuel Payne III, Rod Harris, Jordan McCants, Jaylen Jenkins, Luqman Lateef, Casey Kelley, Sammar Cannon III, Javon Todd, Rocky Houston, Bennett Sulen, Jason Becka, Wynston Johnson, Bonta’e Mosley, Asa Brooks, and Aziz going.