John A. Logan Basketball team welcomed home after first national championship win

The celebration is on for the national champions, John A. Logan basketball team
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 9:48 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 26, 2023 at 10:54 PM CDT
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Carterville, Ill. (KFVS) - Many fans and families made their way to John A. Logan to welcome home the men’s basketball team.

John A. Logan Men’s Basketball defeated Northwest Florida State 73-70 on Saturday, March 25 in the NJCAA Division I National Championship.

The team released the following statement on Monday, March 27:

“The Men’s Basketball Team would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support following the team’s historic season that concluded Saturday with the program’s first National Championship. To all of the fans that have supported the team all season, the hundreds of fans that came to the watch parties, and all those that greeted the team bus on Sunday, thank you. Your continued support was felt at the tournament and throughout the season. Due to a scheduling conflict, no other celebrations are scheduled at this time. Any future celebration will be announced on JALC social media and the College homepage. Again, we thank the community and the John A. Logan College family for all the support. We are extremely grateful.”

After trailing by four at halftime, the Vols came back to take a three-point lead with under 10 seconds left in the game. Their defense stood tall in the final seconds, preventing the Raiders from getting an open shot.

This is the first time John A. Logan has won a national title in the school’s history. One of the players, Elliot Lowndes said this was a great experience for him.

“I’ll tell my kids about this, I’ll tell my grandkids about this, I’ll tell my grandkids about this, this is a really big deal,” said Lowndes.

Another player, KJ Debrick, felt that he and his team were now a part of history. Debrick expressed how hard his team worked by saying the Vols always work 110%.

“We never got comfortable, no matter if we were number one team in the country or the tenth, we always work everyday to get better,” Debrick explained.

Coach Tyler Smithpeters is excited about the hard work his team put in. He said that if anyone could achieve such a success, it was his team.

“We go from unranked at the start of the season to finishing with a national championship, and I think if there’s that anybody could do it, it was the guys in our locker room,” Smithpeters said.

This is Smithpeters’ first year as head coach and his team finished off the season with a 31-game winning streak.

Smithpeters said his motto is “Enjoy the moment, never take it for granted and that’s what we’re going to do.”