By C.J. Peterson @SFBayCJ
While playing for a community college is not the ideal scenario for the majority of student-athletes at the collegiate level, the opportunities that arise from the extra one to two years of experience is undeniable.
This has held true at Las Positas, where several players are now reaping the benefits of sporting Hawks jerseys for the last two seasons.
The Las Positas men’s basketball team has announced that eight sophomores from this past season will be transferring to four-year-universities to continue their basketball careers beyond LPC.
“I’ve been coaching for 21 years and this number, eight, will be the largest number of my career,” head coach of the Las Positas men’s basketball team, James Giacomazzi said.
“It speaks to a lot of these good players doing what they need to do athletically and academically. It also speaks to them and their perseverance, diligence and work ethic.”
According to Giacomazzi, the two marquee players primed to transfer are Keith Hunter, who will attend the University of Mary and former starting power forward, Stokley Chaffee, who will be traveling down south to play the Tennessee State University.
When asked to describe his time at Las Positas, Chaffee said, “I can honestly say that coming here was the best decision I’ve ever made … This program and these coaches and my teammates gave me a lot of confidence, which is something that I definitely needed.”
Chaffee also gave praise to coach Giacomazzi and assistant coach Jordan Whittenburg for their assistance in helping the recruiting process move smoothly.
“Coach James (Giacomazzi) and coach Jordan (Whittenburg) were very helpful throughout the whole process,” Chaffee said.
“It was very overwhelming, so I would go in the office and sit with coach James and talk with him for hours. Coach James is a really good talker, so I let him do all of the talking.”
Beyond the “gift of gab,” the list of praises for Giacomazzi and his coaching staff are flattering, to say the least.
And as two consecutive Northern California State Tournament berths and the retention of a stellar recruiting class sit on top that list, the ability to develop division-one caliber talent is a clear front-runner.
Giacomazzi says he hopes that this skill gives Las Positas more exposure and recruiting leverage in future seasons moving forward.
“We’re getting a lot more publicity out there, not only on our own website, but on various different blogs going out that are speaking highly of our program,” Giacomazzi said.
While exposure is nice, Giacomazzi says that it’s really about the kids and helping his players develop both on and off of the court.
“You’re trying to help mold and build character not only while they’re here, but also as they move on in life,” said Giacomazzi. “You look at them all as your sons.”
Outside of Hunter and Chaffee, Aaron Berry, Spencer Wood and Giordi V’Soske will be taking their talents to Simpson University in Redding, Calif.
Donald Mims will move out of state to Brock University in Ontario, Canada, and Caleb Baskett will play for Cal State Stanislaus in Turlock, Calif.
Cameron Johnson rounds out lidt of atheletes that will transfer, but has yet to announce his destination.
Heading into the summer, the Las Positas coaching staff prepares for 2018 knowing that the loss of eight players from last season will be a tough void to fill.
But as those eight players move on to follow their dreams at the next level of competition, the future of the Las Positas men’s basketball program looks bright.