MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — A “welcome back” sign stood out front of the Verties Sails Gymnasium and it’s been a long time coming for Southwest Tennessee CC.
The Saluqis were the last team to take the court in Memphis.
“I commend them every day for the ability to show up,” said Saluqis interim head coach Amory Sanders.
It’s been nearly 10 months since they last touched the hardwood for a game. During this time it’s easy to get complacent, but the Saluquis have stayed focused.
“Our guys got an opportunity to come out and showcase all the work they’ve been doing all the practices, all the times we’ve been in the gym,” Sanders said.
Although it won’t count towards their eligibility, the Saluqis are taking this season seriously and are still more determined than ever to get a four-year scholarship offer.
And, Sanders is going to help them get there.
“I’ve played junior college basketball at Three Rivers Community College under the winningest head coach in basketball history, so I know that grit and grind,” said Sanders. “At the same time I’m trying to impact them and trying to make an impression on them, bu you’re also trying to build relationships because you know you only have them for two years. So, it takes a lot. A lot of communicating, a lot of talking to them, a lot of loving.”
The Saluqis are now one and oh on the season after a 86-69 win over Dyersburg State CC Wednesday night.
Sanders is stressing the importance of staying safe during this time, so his team can continue to play.
“You know what, I’m playing this game, but it’s not about me. It’s about my family, it’s about my coaches, it’s about my teammates. It’s opened their eyes up to bigger and better things other than just basketball.”
Southwest travels to Columbia State CC Saturday, tip-off is set for 4 p.m.