GALLERY: With playoffs looming, City College men’s basketball shines on Sophomore Night

The action-packed double-header celebration was the last at home before the playoffs begin on Feb. 25


Sophomores Riley Japhet-Gekas, left, Anthony Howell, center left, Anjay Cortez, center right, and Lorenzo Wright, right, pose for family photos after their win at the Harry West Gym, Feb. 15, 2023. Photo by Joel Nevarez/City Times Media

Joel Nevarez, Sports Editor

Harry West Gym was roaring as the San Diego City College men’s basketball team took the court in the first game of a doubleheader celebrating Black History Month and the sophomores on the men’s and women’s rosters. 

The event was put together by Student Affairs, Outreach and student athletics to welcome the community to City College.

According to San Diego City College athletics, attendance was the highest for a home game this season. 

“This means a lot to me, with the turnout, with the people,” sophomore forward Anthony Howell (Youngstown, Ohio) said. “I appreciate everybody that came out. It was amazing, the atmosphere. This means a lot to me.”

PLAYOFFS COMING: The No. 8 men’s basketball team (23-5) will host its second-round playoff opener against No. 24 Copper Mountain (17-12) at Harry West Gym on Feb. 25. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Click here to read more.

The good feelings were boosted by the final scores of each game.

The men won a nailbiter, 91-86, against Palomar College before the women’s game against Grossmont College ended in a forfeit win for the Knights.

“It felt good to have all my family watch me play,” sophomore forward Kaniya Lloyd (Madison HS) said. “It was a good feeling for my last home game.”

The night was highly anticipated as long lines formed in front of the gym doors well before the 4:30 p.m. start in anticipation of a night of basketball, prizes, giveaways and food. 

Tacos and aguas frescas were offered to the first 150 in attendance and among the giveaways was an SD City hat to the first 50 in attendance of each game.

For both Knights’ teams, the sophomores stole the show in their respective games. 

The 6-foot-7 Howell put up a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 7-of-8 from the field. 

“I was just doing whatever my team needed,” he said. “If they need me to go out there and score 30, I’m gonna do it. And if they need me to go get 20 rebounds, I’m gonna do it.”

San Diego City College Women’s basketball team is celebrated
San Diego City College Women’s basketball team is celebrated during Sophomore Night before the game against Palomar College at Harry West Gym, Feb. 15, 2023. Photo by Joel Nevarez/City Times Media

The sophomores were honored between the games. The players celebrated with their loved ones on the court, with the men gifted a picture of their first games at City and the women presented with flowers. 

The women’s game resulted in a forfeit victory for City (12-16, 6-8). The score was tied at 39-39 when Grossmont was forced to forfeit due to injuries.

“It was kind of sad on our Sophomore Night to see that, but a win is a win,” sophomore guard Sarah Henry (Grossmont HS) said.

For more information on all the events happening at City College this Black History Month including the final Black Film Friday tonight, click here.

Multimedia journalist Steph Washington contributed to this report.