TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - For the Tallahassee Community College men's basketball program, this year started with a lot of questions. The Eagles had a new coach. A new team. They needed a lot of little pieces that to come together.
"Any time you take different personalities and transfers, you have to mesh it all together," said first year head coach Zach Settembre. "From day one, our message has been what's good for one person is good for everybody."
They meshed just fine. A Conference Championship? Check. Up next? A run for a State and hopefully, a National title.
"We all came in here being in the gym every single day has really helped us just build a camaraderie," said Jordan Guest, a sophomore forward for the Eagles.
"When we first came in, we didn't know how good we could be," added sophomore guard Tariq Silver. "We all agreed we'd rather be good than bad, so everybody put their egos to the side. Everyone realized if we win, what everybody wants will come."
Junior College basketball doesn't last forever. What everybody wants is to make it big, but while they're in Tallahassee, what everybody wants is to leave their mark on this program.
"A lot of the guys that are here were in situations last year where they weren't happy or they felt like they weren't getting the right recognition they needed," said Silver. "Now we're coming down here, we put in the work, we have a chance to win it all, it's a great feeling."
"The more we win at this level, the more eyes are on them," added Settembre. "We've told them all year long, all you have to do is be the best version of yourself everyday. You don't have to play great, but you have to be the best teammate, don't give a coach a reason not to recruit you. Understanding that that's what it takes, that's a winning mentality, has given us a chance to be successful all year."
Success that's made up of a lot of little pieces coming together. Tallahassee faces State College of Florida on Wednesday at 6:00 in the State Quarterfinals. If they win, they play on Friday.