Position: Point Guard
High School: Purnell Swett
Personal: Mitchell was born in Lumberton; she’s also Native American, a vibrant culture the city is known for. Mitchell plans to study physical therapy and in her spare time, she’ll do what she loves most as a hobby – play basketball.
Position: Shooting Guard
Hometown: Huntsville, AL
High School: South View
Personal: Outside of basketball, Jackson enjoys writing music and connecting circuits. Those who know her best nicknamed her “Bama,” an ode to the state she was born in. Jackson plans to study engineering during her time as a student-athlete.
Position: Point Guard / Shooting Guard
High School: Fayetteville Christian School
Personal: McNair aspires to own her own daycare someday. Her first step at achieving that goal is by pursing a double major – early childhood education and entrepreneurship. She also enjoys food, dancing and spending as much time as she can with family and friends.
Position: Guard / Forward
Hometown: Kingston, NY
High School: West Florence
Personal: This year marks Inman’s sophomore and least year with the Lady Trojans. She’s a Navy veteran and mother of a 5-year old daughter, “Ma’Kaya.” Inman hopes to transfer to a four-year university and continue playing basketball, but if not, she will pursue playing the sport internationally.
Position: Small Foward
High School: South View
Personal: Rowe was born in Miami, Florida, and she plans to study computer science while playing at FTCC. In addition to basketball, her hobbies include soccer. She can also speak German.
Position: Power Forward
Hometown: Elizabeth City
High School: East Wake
Personal: Brown, similar to some of her teammates, wants to transfer to a four-year university or school to continue playing basketball after her time at FTCC. She’s studying to be an athletic trainer while she plays for the Lady Trojans.
Position: Shooting Guard
High School: Village Christian Academy
Personal: Peterson plans to join the U.S. Navy after graduating from FTCC, a similar path her teammate Larryea Inman has taken. Peterson is studying health & fitness at the college and when she’s not studying, enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
High School: White Oak
Personal: Gilbert is the tallest player on this year’s team. She’s currently studying health science and chose working as a pharmacist for her future career path.
Position: Point Guard
High School: Jacksonville
Personal: Kiani has been playing basketball from a young age, seven years old. She plans to study at FTCC for two years before transferring to a four-year university where she can continue to play basketball.
Position: Guard / Post
High School: Cape Fear
Personal: Lawson chose the Health Programs as her avenue of studying with plans to become a registered nurse. When’s she’s not playing basketball, Lawson said she likes to sign and hangout with her friends.
Eric Tucker’s success as a coach is undeniable. Over 17 years as head coach at Fayetteville State University, Tucker coached the Women’s Basketball team to victory in 299 games, six division totals, and a CIAA tournament championship. He also led the Broncos seven times to the NCAA Division II tournament.
On Nov. 1, 2016, Coach Tucker won the 300th basketball game of his coaching career as his Lady Trojans opened the season with a 98-35 win over Central Carolina Community College.
Tucker graduated from North Carolina Central University in 1977 with a degree in physical education. He married his wife, Theresa, in 1985. Together they have three children: Keith, Erica and John Allen.
Shortly thereafter, he went on to coach men’s basketball at Spring Lake Junior High School. After earning his Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Fayetteville State University, he was asked to coach the women’s basketball team in 1992.
After his time at Fayetteville State University, Tucker began working at FTCC as the fitness center director for the Spring Lake campus. He accepted the position as Head Coach to the Lady Trojan’s when the Women’s Basketball Program was launched in April, 2016.
Tucker says his coaching philosophy is simple: the team with the most points wins.
Born in Washington DC, Coach Rich graduated from Hampton University in 1993. His playing history included a stint playing for Hampton University in the 1991 CIAA Championships. From 1993-2009, he was the assistant coach for Fayetteville State University’s Women’s Basketball Team. Rich has been a coach for over 16 years.
Rich says his coaching philosophy is made up of four integral parts:
1) At the end of the day and at the beginning of the day, basketball is just a game. Players lose their fire and passion for the game when it’s no longer fun.
2) The only way to get better is to work harder. You have to be willing to put in the work.
3) Always remember that you are a student/athlete in that order with student being first the ultimate goal is to get an education.
4) Rich’s number one rule in basketball, in life, and in general is this if you forget all the rules, always remember just one: do what’s right.
Rich believes working at FTCC has given him a great opportunity to get back into coaching, and he feels he can make a good impression on the students and players. Rich says: “Sports, in my estimation, is a lot like life. You need to have focus; you get in a routine of going to practice is like going to work. The games are just like the real world. You aren’t going to win every game and everyday isn’t going to be a great day. How you bounce back from the bad games and the bad days will define you as a person.”
Rich says his biggest coaching role models are his parents. “Without them there is no me,” he says.
Percell Bell is a graduate of Weldon High School. He began his collegiate career at Fayetteville State and High Point universities in North Carolina. He brings many experiences to the basketball program: a veteran from the U.S. Army, a former boot camp drill Instructor and as a high and middle school assistant coach.
Prior to coming to FTCC under Eric Tucker’s direction, Bell served as an Amateur Athletic Union head coach and assistant director for the Express Showcase Youth Organization girl’s 17U team. He helped his team win a plethora of championships such as the USBA State and National Championship, Atlanta Unlimited Showcase Championship, and the Garden City Classic Silver Championship.
His career has also allowed him to assist with the late legendary women’s college basketball coach Pat Summit at University of Tennessee and winning the Tennessee Next Line Skills elite basketball camp “All Star Team” Championship. Bell described himself as excited to bring his experiences to the Lady Trojans and continue building up a strong team to represent the program.
Brown’s history with basketball as a player and coach is more than 30 years in the making. Brown hails from Annapolis, Maryland. She attended Broadneck Senior High School, helping her team secure two 4A State Titles in 1989 and 1990. She was named to All-County, All-State and more before the school retired her jersey in January this year.
Brown previously played basketball for Fayetteville State University where she is know as the institution’s “most prolific scorer in the history” of their basketball programs. Brown served as a guard for the Lady Broncos and scored an average of 24.3 points per game under then-coach Eric Tucker. Just like her high school, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) inducted her into the Hall of Fame in 1999. She briefly returned to FSU in 1999 as a graduate assistant/strength conditioning coach for the Lady Broncos where they wont he CIAA tournament.
As her coaching career progressed, Brown took her talents to Johnston Community College where she earned credit for turning the program around to winning nine games last season. Under Brown, three players earned national rankings in the NJCAA Division II Women’s Basketball; two academic All-Americans. Brown is also a two-time U.S. Army combat veteran. In Fort Hood, Texas, she served as the head basketball coach for The Lady Warriors for two years.
Brown has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in political science, both from FSU and a master’s in education from Trident University International. Her favorite athletic teams are the NFL’s Washington Redskins and the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers.
Jones is a familiar face when it comes to the Lady Trojans Basketball Team. He is in his third year with the team under Head Coach Eric Tucker. Jones, of Hope Mills, began managing basketball teams as early as seventh grade. The Jack Britt High SChool graduate served as an equipment manager for the Buccaneers’ volleyball, basketball, and softball teams. Earlier this year, the Trojan Athletics Department recognized Jones’ work and dedication by naming him the 2018 “Trojan of the Year” and “Manager of the Year”. The 2018-2019 season will mark Jones’ last year with the Lady Trojans.