Release Date: 
Monday, October 31, 2022

Nationally-ranked Hawks hit the home court Nov. 9!

Event Date: 
Wed, 11/09/2022 - 7:30pm to 10:00pm
Athletic Memorial Building (Bldg. H)
Photo of Coach Shepard and 3 Hawks players.
Coach Chris Shepard (seen here talking strategy with his players during a timeout) has great expectations of the team in the 2022-23 season, which begins Nov. 9 with its home opener against Terra State Community College.

The HFC Men’s Basketball Team will begin the 2022-23 season with a home opener against Terra State Community College on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Gym, located within the Athletic Memorial Building (Bldg. H) on the main campus.

The Hawks, under the guidance of Coach Chris Shepard, are ranked 8th in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) pre-season poll.

New blood

“It sounds like it’s going to be another season of exciting Hawks basketball; I can’t wait,” said HFC Athletic Director Rochelle Taylor. “Coach Shepard has a number of new players, and we hope to be a major contender in the conference, region, and nation.”

Shepard shares Taylor's enthusiasm and outlook on the season. “The entire roster has the ability to start, so we could have as many as four Division 1 players and as many as an additional 6-7 Division 2 players,” he said.

He named some players whom he believes will stand out this season, including D'Quarion Cole (a former Player of the Year in the conference) and transfer student D'Juan Seal.

“They have been exceptional,” said Shepard. “Other players to watch are Caleb Bates, Tyrhe Fortney, Tyler Mack, and Mike Robinson. All are 6 foot 5 or taller and have tremendous skils.”

A platform to improve

Shepard has been the head coach at HFC since the 2017-18 season. In his first season, Shepard guided the Hawks to an MCCAA Eastern Conference Championship, while compiling an impressive 23-7 record. He followed up his inaugural season at HFC with another MCCAA Eastern Conference Championship, along with an MCCAA Championship in 2019. These accolades earned him Coach of the Year honors twice.

“HFC is not a destination for student athletes; it's a platform to improve your academic and athletic opportunities. I am very proud of our success in moving student athletes to continue playing while earning their degrees. Last year's team was the best to ever put on a Hawks uniform,” he said. “What was most impressive is the academic success they obtained to allow them to move on to the next level. Three student athletes signed to play Division 1 basketball. One signed to play Division 2 basketball. We also had three student athletes playing in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics).”

“They are going to be special”

Shepard spoke about his goals for the season.

“We have two goals that coincide with one another: Win the conference tournament, so we can make the national tournament,” he said. “The goal at the national tournament is to win the whole thing. This group has a realistic chance to do that. We work every day to obtain these goals.”

Shepard continued: “After back-to-back Elite 8 appearances, our program has been on the rise nationally. This team is as talented as any we have had. We believe we can play 13 guys every game. It's hard to get a collective group with this level of talent. I encourage students and faculty to attend home games and see this group. They are going to be special.”