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New coach, new team, new year for Mountie Men’s Basketball

2021-22 Men's Basketball Team
2021-22 Men's Basketball Team

(Walnut, CA) The 2021-22 Men's Basketball Team brings a new coach and a new season for the Mounties, with Michael Fenison at the helm.

Fenison, a familiar name with the program, was an assistant to former head coach Ralph Osterkamp over 30 years ago and also played for the Mounties.

Fenison will be assisted by Phillip Brown, Marshall Johnson and Kim Jones.

"Coach Marshall has a great deal of knowledge," Fenison said. "As a young assistant, he is very knowledgeable. Phillip Brown is another up and coming young coach who great basketball knowledge."

Leading the programs Strength and Conditioning is coach Kim Jones. "Kim is just above all of us, she is at another level and she is brilliant."

Fenison excited to return

  • "It's really exciting!  I have so many memories here of playing and coaching. I'm excited about coming back home and being part of the history and tradition here again. I feel a little nervous, to be perfectly honest, because I want us to do well."
  • "It's exciting to finally get here and compete, but I'm not sure what's going to happen. Other teams at have sophomores that returned, however we don't."
  • "If we can shoot better and be more consistent, we're going to cause people problems."
  • "...building a culture was important.  The young men have been working hard and trying to learn me."

Mt. SAC will open its season Thursday, November 4th, with a game at neighboring Citrus College.

The Mounties first home game will be at the 12th Annual Mountie Basketball Classic, Friday and Saturday, November 12th and 13th.

The three other teams competing in the tourney, now named after former Mt. SAC Head Coach Gene Victor, are Glendale, Golden West and Grossmont. The Mounties open with Grossmont, at 2:00 pm, on Friday.

Coach Fenison played for both Victor and Osterkamp and is proud to be coaching in the tourney named after his former mentor.

"Coach Victor had tremendous influence on me," Fenison said. "I remember when he and coach Osterkamp called me into the office one day and told me "hey, you should be a coach!"

Fenison is also the founder of the Mt. SAC Athletics Hall of Fame, which started in 1993.

Mt. SAC has schedule two other tournaments this season - PCC Skip Robinson Tournament in two weeks and the College of the Canyons Cougar Holiday Classic in December, along with 11 non-conference games.

The eight South Coast Conference games begin in mid-January.

What the players said:

Dyren Brown, Sophomore Forward: "I'm excited to get back playing. I haven't played since 2018. It's been three years and I'm excited to get back playing. I like all the guys, the coaches are supportive and we're getting ready."

Coach Fenison's comments: "If we can get him more aggressive, he's going to be a shining light."

Justyn Hunter, Freshman Guard: "It's been a fun process, competitive and hanging out with the guys every day.  There's a lot of good players and we get along really well. When I first got here it was tough, but coach Fenison is a tough coach and wants nothing but the best of you. He's made it a pretty smooth process here."

Coach Fenison's comments: "Justyn Hunter, from Fairfax, is a great point guard."

Shaquil Bender, Freshman Guard: "I'm really excited for Thursday (Citrus game). We looked good at the SoCal JUCO Jamboree (preseason) where we went 3-1.  It's a great honor to be playing in the (Gene Victor) tournament.

I know the coaches care a lot for us and it's been tough. I'm ready to go."

Jamal Edmonson, Sophomore Forward: "I played last year, in the Spring, at Francis Marion University in South Carolina. This is my first time in L.A. and we've been practicing since I got off the plane (in August).  I wanted to better myself so I went the JUCO route to try to get to DI.  I came here because of (Coach Fenison). It's been a good ride so far.  I've been waiting for this (finally playing) since I left my old school (Francis Marion). It's time to get locked in mentally and keep pushing."

Coach Fenison's comments: "I think (he) is going to be good. He's one of only a few that have scored 3,000 points in South Carolina high school history."

Follow Mt. SAC Men's Basketball on Twitter @MtSAC_MBKB

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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.