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Cougar ballers build on winning record

Men's basketball practice

Freshman guard Kenneth Robinson, of Columbus Africentric High School, shoots over freshman guard Patrick McClendon, of Bexley High School, during practice Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. Photo by Samuel Soza

The Columbus State Cougars will defend their 7-2 record with back-to-back games versus Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Ill., Dec. 21-22.

The team of mostly freshmen is following a 16-13 season from their predecessors. New head coach DeAndre Walker, an Akron native, is confident in their abilities.

"We only have two sophomores so everyone else is freshly out of high school," Walker said. "I can't speak for the group last year because I wasn't here, but these guys, they play hard no matter what."

Walker was named the head men's basketball coach earlier this year after performing as an assistant coach at Ohio Dominican University.

As a forward himself for the Cougars in 2000-2002, Walker is aware of the need for players to balance their achievements both on and off the court. The team has already assisted with a local food bank event this year.

"The main thing that I'm excited about is the opportunity to coach and give back to where things started for me. Not only am I the coach here now, but I came through the same path that these young men are coming through," Walker said.

The Cougars have games through March 8, including five more home games. Walker says support from the student body is important.

"We appreciate people coming out to support us even if it's only for a couple quarters or the full game," he said.

Admission is free for Columbus State students and employees. Men's Basketball site

The Columbus State women's basketball team owns an 11-1 record. Watch the homepage for more news of the Lady Cougars. Women's Basketball site