The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.
The562’s coverage of Vikings athletics is sponsored in part by Long Beach City College.
The Long Beach City College men’s basketball team enters the 2022-23 season with high expectations. The Vikings were the preseason pick to win their conference, a year after dropping their final game of the regular season to clinch the conference outright. Gardena High alum Kameron Mayhan was also the preseason pick for conference MVP.
“We feel we are capable of that and of making a run deep into the postseason,” said longtime LBCC men’s coach Barry Barnes. “We’re optimistic about this team, we’ve got a great team and we’ll be in the mix.”
Now entering his 14th season as the Vikings’ head coach, Barnes has added Director of Basketball Operations to his resume as the overseer of the college’s basketball teams. It’s a fitting honor for Barnes, who was also an assistant coach under Hall of Fame coach Gary Anderson for six seasons before taking over the Vikings’ head job.
Barnes has been successful at pulling in Moore League talent and this year’s team is no exception, with several key players back from last year. Lorenzo Marsh from Poly is back as is Bonard Johnson Jr. (pictured) from Lakewood. Mayhan is a big guard for the Vikings, with Tremond Johnson helping as well.
“I do like recruiting from the Moore League, I feel we have some excellent ballplayers from the city and around the community,” said Barnes. “And I think that helps build the chemistry.”
All five of the Vikings’ starters are averaging double digits with Johnson leading the way at 17.2 points per game, backed up by Mayhan’s 14, Marsh’s 13.8, and Chris Herrera and Shane Hunter both clearing double digits as well.
“Our key is getting our younger guys involved, we have a lot of really young true freshmen,” said Barnes. “All our main guys are sophomores.”
Johnson said he’s looking forward to the year and that the chemistry on this team is going to be its biggest strength.
“The chemistry this year is a lot better than last year,” said Johnson. “We’re feeling great, we’ve got high expectations--we’re hoping to win State this year.”
The Vikings host Cypress Nov. 23 and will open conference play at home against LA Trade-Tech on Jan. 11.