Panther men’s basketball team looks to return to the top

By Jack Reading Jr.

After an early exit in the first round of last year’s men’s basketball tournament, the Palm Beach State Panthers start their season against Rise Academy at home on November 2.  This team has the potential of making another run at the state title and possibly the national title.

“We are an awfully good team on paper. We have eight returning players and we had a great recruiting class,” said Coach George Estes about the team’s upcoming season.

Their run last year was cut short in the first round of the playoffs. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, half of the starting rotation was out due to injuries and the odds of a win were not in their favor.

Last season, the Panthers went 25-6 and were one of the top 10 best junior college basketball teams in the nation. All accomplished by Head Coach George “Butch” Estes during his first year with the team.

One of the eight returning players is the national junior college player of the year, Waverly Austin. Also returning is the team’s leader in field goal percentage Demetrius Allen, and the team’s third highest scorer Ryan Frazier. With the season starting in November the coaches and the players can’t wait for their campaign to begin.

The players are all hyped—practicing hard every day, and working out in the wellness center to become even better athletes.  With regards to the upcoming season, Ryan Frazier, guard, and Darius Page, point guard, said they are looking forward to
playing Miami Dade.  Last year, the Miami Dade Sharks defeated the Panthers and fans rushed from the bleachers to the
middle of the court to congratulate their team. For these two athletes, they were left feeling disrespected.

Coach Estes, Frazier and Page best describes their team as “Talent,”  “Family,” and “Hard-Working.” All together, this year’s team is hard-working and talented family of student athletes.

The Palm Beach State Panthers’ men’s basketball team will soon have the chance to prove themselves again this year, and possibly, go all the way. Support their efforts on November 2 when the Panthers play against the Rise Academy.