Former Storm players making impact at Winston-Salem State
Even though Justin Glover, Kimani Hunt and Maurice Nash have traded in their blue Davidson County Community College uniforms for Winston-Salem State University red, one thing remains the same for the trio — they know how to win.
All three were members of the DCCC team that finished fourth at the NJCAA Division III national tournament in 2011, and now they are contributors for a Rams program that ranks No. 11 in the latest NABC/Division II Coaches Poll with a 13-2 record. Twelve of those wins have come consecutively, including six straight in conference play.
“We had a lot of success at Davidson and it feels great to have us all here,” said Glover. “We have just carried over what we did at DCCC.”
Glover and Hunt played for the Rams last season as juniors and made an immediate impact.
An unknown in the CIAA, Glover was an All-CIAA selection and earned tournament MVP honors as the Rams captured the championship. A preseason All-CIAA selection for WSSU, Glover leads the team in scoring with 15 points per game and is no longer a secret weapon for head coach Bobby Collins.
“Justin is our guy and we depend on him for a lot of things,” said Collins. “Cold water runs through his veins and he wants to take every big shot.”
A rim-rocker at DCCC, Glover continues to wow fans with his wide array of dunks, though at times they make coach Collins quite nervous. During Monday’s 65-53 win over Elizabeth City State, the high-flying guard sprung free in the open court and sized up a dunk attempt with six minutes to go and the Rams clinging to a three-point lead. Instead of playing it safe, Glover took the spectacular route and went for a between-the-legs dunk that he missed. Collins immediately benched him.
“That boy makes me tired,” Collins said afterward with a chuckle.
Winston-Salem State was able to build on its lead over the next few minutes and Glover returned. With the game safely in hand in the closing seconds, Glover broke free again. Without hesitation, he confidently drove in and attempted the same dunk. This time it was a success and got the Gaines Center rocking.
“I did not realize it was only a three-point game the first time,” said Glover. “Coach was not happy about that. But I had another chance so I decided to pull it off.”
Battling flu-like symptoms throughout the day, Glover shot just 2-of-12 from the field scoring four points. But those baskets were two of the loudest of the night as he had one other slam.
Recently named to the dean’s list, Hunt cracked the starting lineup last season but has made the transition to a role player off the bench. He continues to be a threat from the outside and played good minutes Monday. He scored only two points, but brought down some key rebounds.
“Last year I was a starter and this year I am coming off the bench,” said Hunt. “I am doing whatever I need to do in order to help my team win.”
Collins would like to find more minutes for his wing that averages around five points, but has been impressed with how Hunt has handled his new role.
“Kimani is a solid player that does the little things,” Collins said. “Unfortunately, he has not gotten the playing time that he deserves, but he is okay with it because we are a deep team and we are very close to each other.”
Nash is still getting his feet wet having played only a handful of games in a WSSU jersey, but the future looks bright for him in the program. His athleticism allows him to play several positions and he is thrilled to be reunited with his former teammates.
“We still have the same chemistry with each other and it is like nothing has ever changed,” said Nash.
Going forward, Collins expects Nash to play a bigger role in the Rams attack.
“Maurice is still coming into his own. We know he is explosive, and he is a kid that we are going to need when his number is called.”
With the three Storm players on board and several other talented guys on a deep team, Collins hopes the Rams can build on last season and make a deeper run in 2013.
“We are going to take it one game at a time and we do understand it is about those three games in March,” he said. “We want to make a national championship run.”
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.