Danville Diary Day 6: Kieon Arkwright

Posted: March 20, 2010 by Jared Field in College

Tracking St. Clair’s Journey to the NJCAA National Tournament

Day 6:  Saturday, March 20, 2010

It all started with one phone call one day after I got my release from Saginaw Valley State. It was coach Mike Groulx and he told me that he and coach Dale Vos had a scholarship for me and things went good for me from there.

We started the season with these 14 guys: Benjamin Abraham, Eric Mack, Trey Curley, Anthony Burton, Jake Stark, Terrance Keaton, Brandon Thompson, Marquis Lee, Johnny Pritchett, Alan Sharp, Devin Kling, Kyle Brown, James Bethea and myself. I cant say enough how happy I was to be a part of this team. We came together as a family and played for each other and stuck together through all the rough times.

I remember back in October when coach Vos said that in order for us to be good our perimeter had to be not just good but GREAT and he felt that we weren’t great and that we were just good. I kind of took this to heart because I wanted to come to this school and do something special. I wanted to do something that no other team here had done and that was (1) Win over 20 games (2) Win a conference title (3) Win our Region (4) Make it to Nationals (5) Win the National Tournament. So with coach Vos saying that (something which he didn’t tell me directly, I just heard him telling the other coaches) it just made me work that much harder because the team and I had to prove him wrong.

So with that little bit of motivation the season began and we hit the gym running sprints and doing defensive slides. We were determined to be the best defensive team in our league and I believe we accomplished that. We saw how good we actually were when we played our second game of the season against a D1 Junior college in Hillsborough CC from Florida. Even though we lost the game, coach Vos got a chance to see where we was and we wasn’t that far off from where we needed to be. After the game he told the media that he saw a lot of good things from us and that he saw a lot of potential. After that we went on a seven game wining streak and had knocked off a ranked team (#11 KVCC). People then started knowing who St.Clair was, because we had NO RESPECT to start the season so we went out and earned every bit of it. Next thing you know we are at 20 wins and the regular season wasn’t over with yet. We had been ranked in the nation for the first time in school history. We were ranked high as #9 in the country, so people began to know about us and we were getting the respect and publicity that we deserved but we weren’t satisfied with just that. We were still hungry for more.

We went to Henry Ford (No. 1 at the time) on January 30 and knocked them off and then we knew we were legitimate contenders to win a region title and play for the national title.

With the Regional Tournament starting we were granted the #2 seed and people still didn’t believe in us and thought we had no chance to win it. We paid no attention to those people because we had been proving them wrong all season long. We played Kirtland in the first round and we beat them 75-84. Then we played Oakland and beat them 73- 78. Next was the championship and the winner goes to the national tournament and people are still saying “Well their Luck is going to run out.” No luck this way! We went on to beat Henry ford in the championship game 78-83. This was one of the best moments in my life. To be able to win the regional title was huge. We were so happy that day. We cut the nets down and everything! I think we even picked up a few more fans after that because St. Clair was being talked about all around the globe.

The next stop for us was Nationals in Danville, Illinois for the first time in school history. This was a huge accomplishment! We weren’t satisfied with just making it there but we was going there to win the national title. We went down there and played hard and fell a little short of our dream. We did however place! We finished 8th and brought home some hardware. This felt good too because we did something that had never been done before and people will remember that for the rest of their lives because I know I will. The experience was great and was every bit of what I thought it was. The tournament was well organized and was officiated well. The media was good to us players and it was hundreds of scouts in attendance.

I just want to thank Coach Dale Vos, Mike Groulx, and Dion Cox for taking me in when I left my last school because they didn’t have too. I am blessed to have had this opportunity to play for Coach Vos. He’s one of the greatest coaches I have ever played for. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation to be in. Im proud of the year I had here at St. Clair and I couldn’t have done it without my team. These guys are like family to me. We respect each other and we got along well. So thank you coach Vos for having me here and allowing me to be your point guard and one of your leaders. I learned a lot this basketball season. Not only about basketball but about life. To the Sophomores Eric, Marquis, Jake, Ben and Devin thanks for accepting me here. You guys were the returning players and this was your team and you allowed me to come in and feel comfortable. To the Freshmen coming back Alan, AJ, Trey, Johnny, James, TK, Brandon, and Kyle its been fun playing with yall and I’m expecting y’all to come back hard next year and win the whole thing! Y’all got a lot of potential and can do big things. Just make sure you’re in the gym everyday and working hard because I know I will be in there. We all have something we can improve on. When you aren’t going hard the next man is!
We always said OH LET’S DO IT in the huddle. Well boys, WE DID IT!!! Once a Skipper always a SKIPPER! FAMILY on 3 yall….1 2 3 FAMILY!!!!

This isn’t the last of the St.Clair County Community College Skippers! They are coming back next year so be on the look out come 2010-2011 basketball season!

St. Clair ACCOMPLISHMENTS

-Won 20+ games
-Region Champs
-8th place finish at Nationals

{Kieon Arkwright}

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Comments
  1. Jared Field says:

    This is great stuff.

  2. muthguy1 says:

    Congratulations on your fine season and thank you for posting this nice article. I really enjoyed it!

    Best of luck to you as you continue with your career!

  3. JucoJunkie says:

    Thank you to Kieon for his daily diary updates and to Jared and the other editors for all of the juco news articles throughout the season. I really enjoyed them and can’t wait until next season!

  4. Eli Whitney says:

    Kieon is the best player in America!!!! hands down…forget about John Wall and Evan Turner..This cat should have never left SVSU

  5. PJR says:

    Great Stuff! Great Read!! You have a journalism career ahead of you, even if you’re studying something else! Congrats on a great season. No. 8 in the nation is nothing to sniff at! BTW, noted Jake Stark of SC4 made the all tournament team:

    http://www.njcaa.org/newsArticle.cfm?articleId=10906

    Also, kudos to the GRCC team as although things went a bit tougher for them, they managed to get a nice win in the nationals as well!!

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