Winter: Western Wyoming taps into new recruiting mecca of London, England

By: 
ABE WINTER
Star Columnist

I was somewhat intrigued prior to last week’s men’s basketball game between Miles Community College and Western Wyoming College at the Centra.

A glance at the roster of the visiting Mustangs showed three players from, of all places, London. No, that’s not London in Ontario, Canada, or the Londons in the U.S states of Arkansas, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas or Wisconsin — yes, London is all over the map. Also in the countries of France, Serbia and Scotland. Plus the abandoned London mining town in Norway.

Of course, it’s London, England, that suddenly has become a recruiting mecca for Western Wyoming. Believe it or not.

The trio of Mustangs from England combined for 43 points in the 79-67 victory over the Pioneers, who had led by as many as 10 in  the first half.

Afterward, Obi Agu — he wore No. 24 and scored 14 points — was asked about the basketball picture in England.

“I feel the level is increasing,” said Agu, who grew up with his fellow Englanders Calvin Nevill-Kintu and Amin Adami, his teammates at WWC. “There’s definitely a lot of good players in England, but it’s so hard to get noticed.”

How hard?

“I sent tapes and emails to 500 coaches — 15 replied,” Agu said.

After watching this trio, perhaps the Pioneers also should jump on the English bandwagon. And not to be overlooked, the trio of Englishmen helped Western hand Gillette its first loss of the season last weekend.

 

MCC Women Seek Revenge

Losing their conference opener to Gillette College provided a wake-up call for the MCC women’s basketball team. But not soon enough.

Game 2 in Region IX was a home loss to Casper College. Here are the thoughts from MCC first-year coach Nate Vogel regarding those setbacks that have been followed by five straight conference victories:

“When you go 0-2 out of the gate in the conference, the season can go in a couple different directions. We could’ve had players fighting and bickering and then the season goes into a downward spiral.

“Instead, I love the way our team came together, figured some things out and got back on track.”

The track would look even better with a victory over Gillette.

As for the ensuing men’s game, here’s a chance to see the NJCAA’s ninth-ranked team coached by Shawn Neary, who formerly coached at MCC before departing for Gillette 10 years ago to start the school’s program.

(Contact Abe Winter at starcity@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)

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