May 11, 2005
Catawba College to Add Junior Varsity Basketball Team
Ask Catawba College Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Baker why he chose to create a junior varsity men’s basketball team and he’ll tell you it is because the need is there. Each year, he sees dozens of young players who are not quite talented enough to land a slot on the varsity basketball team, but who want to play ball, nonetheless.
“Nationally, there are not that many spots for kids to play varsity basketball at the collegiate level. Talent is pushed down in Division I, making talent more abundant at our level, Division II,” Baker says. “I probably get eight to 10 inquiries a week from coaches or from kids looking for somewhere to play.
“By adding a junior varsity team, we can give up to 15 more students an opportunity to continue playing past high school while they get a good education. The team will give them a reason to belong, a reason to connect.”
Although no athletic scholarships will be available to junior varsity players, Baker says that by the fall, five to six students should be ready to play on Catawba’s new junior varsity basketball team, which he dubs “a work in progress.” Marvin Moore, who has served as second assistant coach to Baker, will coach it. Moore, a native of Ahoskie, is himself a former Catawba basketball player who was named All-American and was inducted into the SAC Hall of Fame.
Plans are for the fledgling team to play four or five home and away games, perhaps against Pfeiffer University or Queens University, both of which have J.V. teams in place. The season would run mid-November through February.
Catawba College administrators also offered the women’s basketball team a chance to develop a junior varsity team, but team officials decided to delay acting on that offer this year.