TALLAHASSEE, FL. (WTXL) — The Tallahassee Community College men's basketball squad is bound for Hutchinson, Kansas. The eagles received the 12-seed for the NJCAA National Championship Tournament and will face the 21-seed Shelton State in the first round.
The team is headed to the tournament for the first time since 2011.
"We were just hoping to have an opportunity to play," explained head coach Zach Settembre. "These guys have worked so hard all year long. It's been a battle from the summer, we went to Hantsville, Alabama which was where it all started for us. A lot of miles, a lot of time spent recruiting, a lot of individual hours on the court with our guys, a lot of hours in film, tons of commitment, tons of sacrifice from everybody in our program. Just thrilled we get a chance to really accomplish our ultimate goal which was to make it to Hutch."
Tariq Silver, a sophomore guard for the Eagles became emotional after the news came down that his team was going to the national tournament. "We worked so hard for it," said Silver. "I mean, we didn't get it the way we wanted to get it, but we got a chance to do something special. It's been a long year, we had a lot of doubts starting the year off. And it seemed like as we did things, we did things people didn't expect. We worked so hard for it. It just felt great. I didn't know what to say, it's just crazy."
The eagles will likely head out of town this Friday. The NJCAA DI Men's National Tournament will be held at the Hutchinson Sports Arena and begin next Monday, March 16.