ICC students compete at Time Warner Cable Arena

Dec. 09, 2012 @ 03:55 PM


It’s rare enough to get in the lower section of an NBA arena, much less step onto the floor. Four young men from Rutherford County had the chance to take it one step further and actually play where the pros play.

Saturday afternoon Isothermal Community College sent four students and a coach to Time Warner Cable Arena to compete in the North Carolina Community College 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.

16 schools from all over North Carolina made the trip to compete in the single-elimination tournament.

Four teams played at a time, two on each side of the floor at the arena, for 15 minute periods in order to progress through the bracket.

The Isothermal team, consisting of Quan Jackson, Traesean Lynch, Vick Staley and Tyreke Mills-Vance won the campus tournament in Rutherford County to earn the right to represent the college.

“It was a great experience,” said Staley about the chance to play on the Charlotte Bobcats’ floor. “You see the stars play on TV and we got the chance to play on the court.”

After the event kicked-off at 1:30 p.m. the Isothermal team watched a few contests before they took the floor.

Jackson, Lynch and Staley led the charge for Isothermal and Mills-Vance came off the bench in relief.

After a disputed call that kept Isothermal down one point when they felt the official missed a score that should have tied the contest.

The mistake proved costly as the teams were tied at the end of the 15 minute period.

Overtime rules in the tournament allowed the team that scores the first point in the extra time moves on.

After a few misses from each team, Isothermal allowed a score and was eliminated from the action.

The team was clearly unhappy with their performance but more upset with the official.

“We got fouled. We got hacked. We got cheated,” Jackson said about the loss. “But it’s alright. It was still a good experience.”

“It was a tough loss,” said team coach Nathan Cole. “We should have won.”

In the end the team reflected on the positives from their trip to the big stage.

“It surprised me the exaggeration people put on the three-point range because I could knock it down like no problem,” Lynch said as the rest of the team laughed.

Jackson was the winner of the event’s slam dunk contest with a 360-dunk. Even with the win he wasn’t satisfied.

“I wish I could have broken the goal,” Jackson joked.

Isothermal’s own Keith Rhodes helped coordinate the event.

“I think it went well and everyone had a great time here in our fifth year of the tournament,” Rhodes said. “I like all the community support that came out to support the Isothermal team. Unfortunately they didn’t win it but I think they did a great job.”