Today will be a historic day for GHC as both their women’s and men’s basketball teams will hit the court for their first games in school history.
The Lady Chargers and Chargers will travel to East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Miss.
The women’s team will tip off at 6 p.m., and the men’s game will be at 7:30 p.m.
Head men’s coach and GHC athletic director Phil Gaffney is excited the day has finally arrived.
“We’re excited about getting this thing started,” said Gaffney. “We’ve been building this thing for a year, and we’re excited to taking this first step.
“I’ve been here a year and it’s been odd not coaching,” added Gaffney. “You get a little bit of coaching withdrawal.”
As athletic director, Gaffney has been putting everything together during the past year to make the basketball programs at GHC a reality.
Women’s coach Brandan Harrell echoed Gaffney on how exciting it is for the first game to finally be here.
“It’s very exciting because it’s been a lot of work getting up to this point,” said Harrell. “As coaches and players, everything is about the games, so finally getting to play games and compete against other teams is why we do what we do.”
Today marks the beginning of a very busy first week for the programs.
On Sunday, both teams will be in action on their home court for the first time as they host Wallace State.
“It’s going to be a busy first week but we’re ready,” said Harrell.
The Chargers team, which is comprised entirely of freshmen, has a tough task in their first game.
The Lions made the NJCAA Sweet 16 last season and are the No. 8-ranked team in the preseason poll.
“I’m a little worried because East Mississippi is ranked eighth in the country, we have a bunch of freshman and we have a couple of injuries,” said Gaffney. “Two potential starters Trenton Burton and Dimychael Ross are out so that’s not good because that puts us down two guys that we thought could be starting.
“But we’re excited about going and facing the No. 8 team in the country,” added Gaffney. “I’m extremely excited about getting this thing started, and I’m excited to see Brandan’s team play.”
The schedule Gaffney put together features matchups against some of the toughest teams in the country.
“We’re playing a bunch of teams that were very successful last year and obviously highly ranked this year,” said Gaffney. “We have to survive the month of November and if we can do that I think we’re going to be a really good team in terms of that experience you get when you go and play the big boys.
“It’s going to be tough when you have all freshman,” added Gaffney. “I’m also concerned that we get through the month of November and we’re still standing physically and mentally.”
Harrell, who came from South Georgia Technical College, has a few sophomores that transferred to GHC when he took the job, so the Lady Chargers will have more experience than the men’s team, but depth still concerns Harrell.
“For us depth will be an issue,” said Harrell. “We’ve been hit by the injury bug a little this fall, so once we get back to full strength and full numbers it will be a little bit better for us.
“Our sophomores are playing well, but we still have some question marks,” added Harrell. “We’ll have a chance to compete but there will be a slim margin of error for us.”