SOUTH HOLLAND, IL– The South Suburban College (SSC) Men’s Basketball Team won the college’s first-ever National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Championship on March 19, 2022. They also earned the distinction as the first team in NJCAA DII history to go undefeated. Head Coach John Pigatti and the team visited the Regular Meeting of the South Suburban College Board of Trustees on April 14 to present their trophies and announce their newest national accolades including National Coach and Player of the Year awards.
“It’s always a pleasure to come before our college’s Board of Trustees under these circumstances,” said John Pigatti, NJCAA DII National Coach of the Year. “I’m so pleased that the Board is recognizing this team for what they did for the Bulldogs Athletic Program and for representing the college in a first-class manor throughout the entire season. But we want to thank the Board for all of their support, as well.”
Coach Pigatti adds his first National Championship to 12 Regional Championships he has won during his 16-year tenure as Head Coach of the SSC Men’s Basketball Team.
Freshman Guard, Demarco Minor, a local Thornton High School alumnus, earned National Player of the Year honors, among several other recognitions. “It felt great to represent my community at a national level,” said Minor. “All of the work – the sweat, blood and tears – we invested in the game to represent our community at the national level, was amazing. It feels good to see that all of our hard work paid off.”
In total, the individual accolades the 2022 National Champion Bulldogs earned include:
- John Pigatti: NJCAA DII Coach of the Year
- Damarco Minor: NJCAA Division II National Player-of-the-Year, Region IV-A Player-of-the-Year, MVP National Championship Tournament & Regional Tournament, 1st Team All American, National Player of the Week
- Camron Donatlan: 3rd Team All-American, 1st Team All Region IV-A, All Tournament Team: National Championship and Regional Tournaments, National Player of the Week
- Damontae Taylor: 2nd Team All Region IV-A, All Tournament Team: National Championship and Regional Tournament
- Nmesomachi Nnebedum: All Tournament Team: National Championship Tournament
Chairman Terry R. Wells, who attended all but one game at the national tournament in Danville, IL, stated: “We could not be prouder of Coach Pigatti and the coaching staff, and especially our student-athletes not only for bringing SSC our first national championship, but also for the way they conducted themselves during the national tournament and throughout the extensive media coverage following their historic season. Congratulations on a job well done.”
For more information, contact Coach Pigatti at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2524, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. SSC is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois.