Victoria College added to its first National Junior College Athletic Association basketball team by signing two Calhoun graduates on Wednesday at the Victoria College Sports Center.
Kordell Etheridge and Tyrese Bellamy became the sixth and seventh athletes to join the Pirates this offseason.
“Victoria College has a great, family oriented program,” Etheridge said. “They always want the best for you. Also, getting to play with friends and family while staying close to home made it a great fit.”
Etheridge, a 2017-18 All-District 27-5A selection, attended Navarro College last year, but decided to return closer to home to play for the Pirates when the opportunity came.
“Being a part of the Pirates first recruiting class is amazing,” Etheridge said. “It feels good to know that the coaches have enough confidence in me to compete at this level.”
Being close to home was also a factor for Bellamy, who did not want to be homesick when he went to college. He felt he would do better with his parents close by.
“It feels so great to be a part of this first (recruiting) class,” Bellamy said. “To join this team and be a part of this community is everything I could have wanted.”
Josh Moore, who is the director of the Victoria College Sports Center and the head women’s volleyball coach, was happy to find local talent. He thinks that the players will be a help both on the court and off because of the connection both have to the community.
This will be the first year Victoria College competes in NJCAA, Division I when the season begins this fall.
Moore has big aspirations. Even with Victoria College being the newcomers, he believes that with a recruiting class that includes players from the Dallas and Lubbock area as well the team is talented enough to compete for a playoff birth.
“Last year we were able to win a couple of games against junior college opponents in the same division that we are jumping in to,” Moore said. “With the talent that we are bringing in, I think we can make the playoffs. If we don’t make the playoffs with this team, I think it would be a disappointment. I think Tyrese and Kordell will be a big part of that success.”