Last Friday State Representative Jeff Jones (Dist. 167) (center right) presented the Brunswick Job Corps men’s basketball team with a proclamation from the Georgia General Assembly honoring the team for their third National Job Corps Basketball Championship in a row. Attending the event at the Brunswick Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce were: (left to right) Basketball Coach Ashton Stripling, Antonio Foster, Myles Hunter, Cleophus Johnson, Jr., Dosnumu Mohammed, Jalee’n Payton, Amon Williams, Davarrio Merriweather, Jr., Kendric Taylor, Antonio Jenkins, Travees Bussey. Brunswick Job Corps Director Mel Gaines is on the far right.
Photo credit: The Islander
By Matthew J. Permar
It’s difficult and rare in any field of sports to have an undefeated, championship season. And it’s even more difficult to do it three years in a row. But that’s exactly what Brunswick Job Corps men’s basketball coach Ashton Stripling has done. Stripling’s teams have gone an incredible 93 - 0 over the last three years. This year’s 29 - 0 season culminated in Brunswick Job Corps’ third National Championship in a row. Making this just a little harder for Coach Stripling is the fact that his team graduates every year so he has to start over with new players every season.
Last Friday (April 27) State Representative Jeff Jones (Dist. 167) presented the coach and team with a proclamation from the Georgia General Assembly honoring them for their accomplishment. In addition, Rep. Jones invited the players to the Capitol when the legislature convenes next January for a formal presentation in front of the entire General Assembly. Jones said, “On behalf of the house and Rep. Don Hogan, I present this to you. We are so proud of you and your record three championships. It’s my pleasure to be able to present this to you all.” Jones asked the players about their future plans and the responses included the military, college, business and nursing programs and advanced training at Job Corps.
Coach Stripling, who also won the Job Corps NationalCoach of the Year award for 2018, said, “These guys all know that at Job Corps training and education come first. That’s the priority and playing basketball is a privilege that comes second.” Speaking on behalf of the team, point guard Amon Williams said, “Job Corps is a life changing experience. It helps us take a negative situation and turn it into a positive situation. Everyone of us on the team came together to achieve two goals - to win the championship and to graduate. This is a brotherhood that will go on for years.” Players who graduated and did not attend last week were: La’Vontay Evans, Kevin Davis, Daniel Cameron-Waters, Timothy Champion and Kendrick Palmer.
Originally published in The Islander on April 30, 2018.