BY Mitch Kiernan
The Sacred Heart Pioneers men’s basketball team is receiving a lot of buzz around campus. With a team bringing back most of their upperclassmen, head coach Anthony Latina called upon junior forward E.J. Anosike, senior guard Kinnon LaRose and senior Center Jare’l Spellman to be his captains for the upcoming season.
Latina wanted to do this because of how experienced they are and they have earned this privilege through their hard work.
“They’ve earned it. They have proven that they can handle that responsibility through their actions and maturity,” said coach Latina.
While there is a lot of responsibility that lies on a captain’s shoulders, Latina believes the three players are ready for the challenge.
“There is a burden to being a captain. A burden to leadership and those guys have shown me they can accept that burden and are willing to do that. Those three guys are what we want our program to be all about and hopefully they can help the other guys mature and keep us together,” said Latina.
As for forward E.J. Anosike, being a captain means a lot to him, knowing all the work he put in to be in this position.
“It’s just a testament to all the hard work that we’ve put in. It shows how our relationship has gotten stronger over the years. He has more trust in me to be a leader. He trusts me to be a leader and see me help our team to get to the next level and to win,” said Anosike.
When asked how to handle the team and what they need to do to be successful, he says just block out the noise and continue to work.
“We want to show our best and what were capable of doing. Keeping a level head, staying humble. As long as we put the work in we will be fine,” said Anosike.
LaRose was taken aback when he found out he was going to be a captain and lead his team.
“It’s a great honor. I am very humbled to be captain of this squad with E.J. and Jare’l. It means a lot trying to lead the guys in the right direction. Making sure everybody is on the right path on and off the court and representing this program to the best of our abilities,” said LaRose.
LaRose brings up how team chemistry was a big thing they worked on as a group this past off-season.
“We had a lot of young guys last year, we had seven freshmen. This year we had the whole summer, the whole offseason to come together as a group,” said LaRose.
Spellman embraces the responsibility of leading his team on the court this year.
“It means a lot being a captain and I accept the leadership role. I’m excited to show the guys what I got and lead these guys by example while getting on them everyday and building this team to be a championship team,” said Spellman.
Spellman has a mindset that the team embraces and brings up everyday when they go to practice.
“We come in to work. We are only as good as our last practice, only as good as our last game. If we let anything get to our head whether it’s negative or positive, it will mess up our culture,” said Spellman.
After losing to Providence and the University of Connecticut to begin the season, Sacred Heart looks ahead to their next game against the University of Binghamton on Nov. 16.