Under coach Barry Barnes, LBCC has made sure to represent the first two letters of their school name–Barnes’ Vikings have always been heavy on Long Beach talent, and this year is no exception.
LBCC returns all-conference players Jeremiah Sadler (Poly) and Jordan Heard (Jordan), and the Vikings have players from Cabrillo, Millikan, and Lakewood on the roster as well. In all, seven of the team’s 13 players are Moore League products.
“We’ve always tried to keep the local players local,” said Barnes. “Not only do they know each other but it builds our team chemistry and it helps with our fan base, too.”
A freshman standout for LBCC this year that’s not from the city is Jace Bass, a Redondo Union product who’s already signed a scholarship to play with CSU San Bernardino next year. Bass, a 6-foot-2 athletic guard, is one of the reasons the team is off to a 6-1 start this year.
“He brings athleticism and scoring,” said Barnes. “I’m a little sad to let him go after his freshman year but when a kid gets offered a full scholarship to go play somewhere for three years you send him on with your blessing.”
After Bass’ 19 points per game, the team is led by Jordan alum Jamiu Akinbile and Sadler.
“Coming from Long Beach and playing here, you play with a chip on your shoulder,” said Sadler.
“One of the best parts about being from Long Beach is you really take pride in it, in representing the city,” he said.
LBCC is off to a strong start and looks to be a fast-paced, entertaining team this year. Barnes is hoping for big Long Beach crowds when his squad hosts Cerritos on Jan. 23 as well as big games against ELAC and Mt. SAC.