NLC Blazers Win National Championship


Rory Moore

North Lake Blazers Men’s Basketball team celebrate its fourth national championship win.

Dominating the game against the Genesee Community College Cougars, the North Lake Blazers won the final match of the tournament on Mar 10. with a score of 83-80.  Ultimately bringing home their 4th national championship in school history.

“We won the championship, probably like the best feeling in the world,” Brayson Barrs, a North Lake basketball player said. “Everybody played their part. Every game was tough, but we just stuck to it. Just a good experience.”

Of course, this win did not come out of sheer luck, Alumni Isom Cameron and an unofficial assistant coach said the team did well because they pushed as hard as they were trained.

“They were pushing about how I normally want them to push,” Cameron said. “I came to love defense. The interior defense and outside defense was good. Their defense is why they did well.”

And to top off his year, head basketball coach Tim Mc- Graw can add another national championship win to his hefty resume which already includes Hall of Fame Inductee.

“Winning the championship. This is by far the most meaningful because of the fact that we had to overcome the whole COVID thing for the last two years,” coach McGraw said.

McGraw said that the achievement is even more rewarding because of the teams’ perseverance.

“Another thing that made it special was that our guys were a team,” McGraw said. “We had some very glaring mistakes and weaknesses that we had to work through every game, and we were able to overcome them.”

Even during the games where the Blazers were close to being defeated, the team continued and put in more practice and training.

“Well, the best thing about this team is they never quit, and they never gave up because we had plenty of games where we were behind, and we had every reason to be discouraged,” McGraw said. “And to their credit, they were able to fight through their mistakes or disappointments and discouragement.”

With many athletes’ transferring to four-year universities, the coaches are in the middle of their recruitment process. Many times, travelling state-wide in order to have a bigger pool of possible athletes.

“They’re recruiting all over the state right now: San Antonio, Houston and the east side of Texas,” Cameron said.

But the end of the season does not mean athletes are given time off. After nationals, the athletes are either training to keep their athleticism or practicing to improve their skills.

“Off-season right now the players are just working on their game; they do five on five runs probably three days out the week maybe four at most, to help them get in shape for when they transfer to play ball.”

Garrett Brown, a North Lake basketball player said that future Blazer athletes must trust the process and not to give up.

“Anybody that wants to join the team, work hard and be coachable, and just do what coach tells you to do because they’re going to lead you in the right direction to be successful,” Brown said. “You know, coaches push you to be great… it’s not easy to win the championship.” As for the athletes who will stay for the next season, they wish for more support from the campus.

“We want everybody here in a big crowd with the student section more involved,” Barrs said. “It’ll help the culture here and make the people want to actually come here to the school.”