William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist
On Mar. 11, 2021, the University of Lynchburg Men’s Basketball Team fell to archrival Randolph-Macon College. Even though the Men’s Basketball Team did not win the ODAC championship, they achieved a lot in the ODAC tournament.
Players expressed how heartbreaking the loss in the ODAC championship was, but they also conveyed how proud they are of their team.
Thomas Thacker, a senior forward, said, “This loss definitely hurts because we were confident in ourselves and what we thought the end results would be. In a way, we were happy with how we fought through in all our games and gave it our all until the end. I believe the players can build off of having the experience of actually playing in a championship game because this experience does not happen that often.”
Israel Lockamy, a senior guard, wants younger players to use this game as a learning opportunity and to realize how blessed they are.
Lockamy said, “I would let players know not to take any moment for granted and to make the best of their time as a student athlete. Not everyone gets this opportunity, and we are blessed to be in the position we are in.”
Lockamy continued, “Also, younger players should learn from their mistakes and build on that for the next year. It has been a blessing from being a walk-on and working my way up to a starting position. I am just thankful for the coaches and the players over the last 4 years for being able to play with them and have fun with them. My favorite moment would be this year. Even though COVID-19 had an impact, we still managed to have fun and see the beauty in every moment. I love this group of men!”
Justin Elkin, a sophomore forward, had a lot to say about the ODAC championship loss. Elkin said, “The most disappointing thing is knowing that we could not get our seniors a ring before they left. Of course, regardless of the outcome, we improved. As competitors, we know that yesterday does not matter and what matters is how we win the next game.”
Most players credit the team’s accomplishments to Tharon Suggs, a senior guard at the University of Lynchburg. Suggs is from Raleigh, North Carolina, and he transferred to the University of Lynchburg from Emory and Henry University for the purpose of winning an ODAC championship.
Fans, coaches, and players understand how much Suggs loves the University of Lynchburg and how much he loves to succeed academically and athletically. Due to the NCAA’s rule of players not having to use a year of eligibility this year, Suggs is eligible to return next year, and his teammates hope that he does, for they attribute the ability to play the ODAC championship game to him.