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Athletic Director Dr. Shannon M. Yates, coach Moe Licardo, President Dr. J. Larry Keen, men’s basketball coach Brian Hurd, and Senior Vice President Dr. Mark Sorrells participate in a game ball presentation on May 6, 2021. [FTCC photo by Brad Losh]

FTCC Athletics commemorated two program milestones Thursday afternoon with a presentation of game-used balls to FTCC President Dr. J. Larry Keen.

Athletic Director Dr. Shannon M. Yates presented a basketball and a volleyball used during the Spring 2021 athletic season.

“I think it’s important to celebrate every success that you have and every step you take in building a championship culture,” Dr. Yates said. “These are two steps closer to the championship culture we’re trying to build here.”

Senior Vice President of Academic and Student Services Dr. Mark Sorrells, volleyball coach Moe Licardo and men’s basketball coach Brian Hurd joined Dr. Keen and Dr. Yates at the presentation.

FTCC Athletics Game Ball Presentation
FTCC President Dr. J. Larry Keen with a game-used volleyball and basketball commemorating program milestones achieved during the 2021 season. [FTCC photo by Brad Losh]
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Dr. Keen praised not only the teams’ competitive success, but also the academic success of the student-athletes.

“It’s so important to know that it’s academics first and then athletics and that our students have the opportunity to pursue their dreams,” Dr. Keen said.

The basketball was used in the men’s basketball’s Feb. 24 win over Region 10 conference mate Davidson-Davie CC, then ranked No. 1 in NJCAA Division II. The Trojans’ recorded a 97-80 victory at home.

Read: Trojans topple No. 1-ranked Davidson-Davie CC

The volleyball commemorates the Trojans’ appearance in the NJCAA Division II Southeast District title match April 2, the deepest playoff run by the volleyball program in its three seasons.

Playing as the No. 3 seed, the Trojans finished as runners-up in the Region 10 Tournament, earning a spot in the district championship, a stop away from the NJCAA Tournament.

Read: Trojans head to Tennessee to seek bid to Nationals

Licardo echoed Dr. Keen’s focus on academic success.

“You’ve really reiterated what I believe in with your support of the academic side of athletics,” Licardo said.

Hurd thanked Dr. Keen for his paramount role in bringing athletics back to FTCC more than five years ago.

“Almost six years ago now, you took a chance on us and said, ‘We need athletics here,’” Hurd said. “And you’ve been the driving force behind it ever since then.”