November 16, 2012 in JUCO
Two Mott Community College basketball teams that won national titles in 2007 and 2008 will be part of this year’s class being inducted into the Greater Flint Sports Hall of Fame in December. Eric Woodyard of the Flint Journal wrote about those teams, but these comments from coach Steve Schmidt really stood out to me:
Longtime Bears sideline leader Steve Schmidt called the 2007 unit “the best team I’ve ever coached” and often reflects on what may have happened if he was given more time to work with the squad.
“If I could’ve had that group together as a coach for 3-4 years, there’s no doubt in my mind that we could’ve competed for championships in Division I conferences,” Schmidt said. “I think those guys would’ve loved to continue to be able to play together.”
All five starters in 2007 went on to play Division I basketball. Kevin Tiggs and Jeremie Simmons both won NJCAA Player of the Year awards and several players from those squads have gone on to successful pro careers overseas.
Schmidt, when I’ve talked to him over the years, has often mentioned wondering what it would be like to work with a roster of kids for a full four years as the nature of JUCO basketball kind of makes two years fly by. I think he’s exactly right with his comments on these two teams — that collection of talent at a Mid-Major Division I school would’ve been really intriguing.