by Jake Knoeller
Two seniors celebrated their college basketball careers for Humboldt in the Lumberjack Arena on Saturday night.
For the women, Sharon Roldan closed out her second season for the ‘Jacks with 8 points and an emotional moment at the end of the game with her coaches Michelle Bento-Jackson and Guillermo Blas, who she said have had an amazing influence on her.
“They helped me both on and off the court,” Roldan said. “Coach Blas especially, he would work around my work schedule too. I would always ask him ‘Hey, can you open the gym’ at 7 or 8am. He would always come no matter what.”
Roldan also expressed how grateful she was that Bento-Jackson accepted her into the Lumberjack family.
“I can’t thank her [Bento-Jackson] enough,” Roldan said.
On Thursday night, she scored a career high 20 points and left it all out on the court.
On the men’s side, Amari Green finished off his fourth straight season with the Jacks, playing 38 of his total 2,054 minutes on Saturday and scoring 10 points.
“Amari’s meant a lot to this program,” coach Tae Norwood said. “We got this memoir that we utilize: I give myself for the team. He represents that to the fullest.”
Green said he was very grateful for the memorable night he had celebrating his career here at Humboldt. His family was up in Humboldt for this game and he said how it was amazing to have them and his teammates supporting him.
“I just loved it,” Green said. “Thank you to the environment, thank you to the fans for coming out, and it’s everything I thought it would be.”
Both of these teams faced a lot of challenges and adversity during the season and showed a lot of perseverance through it all. They were hit with a lot of injuries and absences and showed their character by never slowing down, even when the results didn’t always show.
“Obviously our record is not indicative of what these girls went through, however I do feel like we underachieved in certain areas too,” Bento-Jackson said.
Even though the team will not be playing in the conference championship tournament, the coach did show a lot of optimism about the experience all of the returning players have gained this season from their minutes and believes they will move forward and become much better next year. Norwood had similar feelings about his team, touching on how they always play hard.
“When we got eliminated from this conference tournament about 3 or 4 games ago, some teams tank it and just go through the motions,” Norwood explained. “I thought these guys came and practiced hard and practiced with great intensity.”