2005-12-09 / Sports

Rockaway NCAA College Basketball Season Gets Underway

By Elio Velez

When winter time rolls around, the sports spotlight shines on college basketball. And so begins another exciting year of Rockaway players participating for their NCAA schools.

This season, some athletes will step into the limelight as others have departed due to graduation. In the following months, the Wave will do their best to report on these student-athletes and hope to report on new players who are shining for their teams.

Rhashon Clark-Iowa State

When Rhashon Clark plays at his best, the 6 foot 6 star can change ballgames with his various abilities on both ends of the floor. Clark was clicking so well that nothing seemed to go wrong against Drake last Monday night.

In a dazzling offensive display, Clark scored a career high 26 points and banged five three pointers in a 89-74 win. The crowd also rose to their feet on two occasions when Clark caught a lob pass from point guard Curtis Stinson for a slam dunk and slammed another with both hands later on in the second half. Clark always had the ability to play inside at 6 foot 6 when he was in high school. In college, Iowa State Wayne Morgan has slotted him at the small forward and the sophomore has gotten plenty of playing time at the end of last season’s NCAA run to adjust to the position.

Clark has said in the past that he needs to shoot the ball with more consistency and did so effectively against Drake by finishing 10 of 15 from the field. Offensively, he finished the game on fire by connecting on his last seven shots but Clark also grabbed seven rebounds, four steals and three blocks.

Fellow New York point guard and possible top 15 NBA draft pick Curtis Stinson will be the focal point of the Cyclones offense. Clark will have to take up more responsibility on both ends of the floor to guide the Cyclones through a tough Big 12 Conference. If the game against Drake is an indication, Clark will do more of his share to get back to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost in the second round to eventual champion North Carolina.

Elijah Muldrow- Arkansas Little Rock University

Now is the time for Elijah Muldrow to step into the spotlight for the Sun Belt Eastern Division Champions. The senior has stepped into the starting shooting guard spot as he’s played six games this year and averaged almost 10 points and 47% from beyond the three point arc in 21 attempts. The Trojans are currently 3-3.

With a squad that featured seven seniors last year, Muldrow only saw limited time off the bench in 28 games that he played. Head coach Steve Shields is counting on the former first team all conference player from Ventura Community College in California to assume the scoring and be a leader.

“Elijah was a very high profile player coming out of junior college. He’s a good defender who can get out and run,” Shield said.

“Elijah is a high energy guy whose motor is always running. His minutes are going to come up this year and his ability to step up and lead is going to be critical to our success.”

Carl Benn-UMass-Lowell

Former Lawrence Woodmere Academy star Carl Benn has gotten off to a nice start in his senior campaign with the U-Mass Lowell River Hawks.

In a pre-season poll, the U-Mass Lowell River Hawks were picked to finish fifth in the North East-10 Division II Conference. The team was picked to finish in the middle of the pack following the loss of 6 foot 7 forward James White, who averaged 14 points and 7 rebounds an several other players. A 6-1 start has erased some early season doubts and Benn has led the way with a solid performance at the point all season. He was named to the NE-10 Weekly Roll honors for averaging 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in wins over Saint Rose and Southern New Hampshire.

Arthur Robertson-Post University

Former Beach Channel High School star Arthur Robertson has been one of the bright spots in a slow start for Post University in Waterbury Connecticut.

Robertson has carried over his stellar play from his freshman year as he is currently second on the team in scoring with 8.3 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game. The Eagles are 1-3 as they were blown out by Philadelphia University, 103-62 on December 3.

Richard Forbes-Howard College

Tallahassee Community College was only the first stop in Richard Forbes quest to gain a NCAA Division I scholarship. Now currently playing at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas, Forbes has tasted success early on in the season.

Howard has raced out to an 11-0 record and currently find themselves #2 in the NCAA Junior College Basketball Poll as of presstime.

The 5 foot 10 explosive guard left Far Rockaway in 2003 as the leading scorer in the PSAL that season with more than 30 points per game. He could not acquire a scholarship and missed the entire 200-2004 season.

At Tallahassee, Forbes came off the bench and acquitted himself quite well by scoring 10 points per game. Though playing well for the most part, he was not guaranteed a starting berth and transferred to Howard.

Katreem Palmer Delaware State

After seeing limited action last year, the former Beach Channel star center should see more playing time with the loss of seven Delaware State players due to graduation.

In 22 games last season, Palmer only scored 23 points and 17 rebounds. In only four games coming off the bench this year for the 3-1 Hornets, she has surpassed those figures with 26 points and 24 rebounds. The 6 foot 1 center scored a career high 12 points and 9 rebounds in a 62-61 win over Columbia on November 23.

Tim Pounds , a former Rockaway Beach resident, is currently playing in his second season at Colgate University. The 6’5 forward played his high school ball at Spring Creek High in North Carolina. Pounds capped an outstanding high school career by being named to the all-conference and honorable mention to the All-north Carolina team.

Belle Harbor’s Ray Corrigan missed almost the entire season at Division III Amherst College due to a knee injury. He was expected to be redshirted and return as a fifth year senior according to the college’s sports website. Corrigan, who was the starting point guard for the Final Four bound Amherst Jeffs, is one of the college’s all time leaders with 310 assists.

Next week, we will add more names to the growing list of Rockaway college basketball stars. The Wave is always looking to add to our list of college basketball players that we will feature this upcoming season. If anyone has information on players that weren’t featured in this article, don’t hesitate to call 718-634-4000 or email at sports@rockawave.com.

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