It is an exciting time for the Fullerton College basketball program and Athletic Department, who have seen the success of the team all season, but many outsiders will have the question of, how the team can have such a quick turnaround from the previous season’s disappointing finish. Look no further than first year head coach Perry Webster.
Webster has been the driving force behind the program since his hiring last April. Having won a state championship both as a player and assistant coach, even at the age of 27, Webster has experience that is hard to come by. Webster has rebuilt this year’s team and brought back success to a basketball program with a rich history, including 30 conference titles and three state championships.
“We expected coach Webster to do great things but he has exceeded all our expectations,” said Fullerton College Athletic Director Scott Giles. “He is the complete package, he can recruit, he can identify talent, and then he can discipline them– as long as he is at Fullerton College we’ll be successful.”
With only two returners from last season, Webster recruited new talent to the team immediately. Being a part of the postseason in his first year was not something Webster, the team, or his staff didn’t expect.
“I never expect anything less then winning, the group of guys we have are the same so I’d be lying of I said this is not what I expected but it is happing fast,” said assistant coach Bernard Burrell.
Some of the new faces leading the Hornets have already seen their hard work pay off when the Orange Empire Conference All-Conference teams were announced on Monday. Hornet sophomores Julian Richardson and Blake McBride along with freshman Kenny Barnes and Ian Fox all made first-team honors.
“[Webster] and I are both point guards so I knew he could help me better my game which is one of the reasons I came to Fullerton and it has been been good for both us,” said starting point guard Ian Fox.
The Hornets have seen some obstacles throughout the season. Dropping their last two games of conference play saw the Hornets drop from a chance at the OEC title, to tied for second place in a week. For the team and Coach Webster that is already forgotten, as they are now focused on the most important games of the season– competing for the 2016 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship.
“For us to be successful it’s important to hang our hats on our defense like we have been doing most of the year,” Webster said. “We’re in the tournament now and we got to make the best of the opportunity ahead of us.”
Fullerton is the No. 6 seed in the SoCal Regional Tournament and will host No. 11 seed Cuesta College Friday night Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. This will be the second meeting this season between the teams, the first ended with a 71-62 victory for Cuesta College.