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TIMEOUT Featuring PGCC Sophomore Guard Lavonte Sanders

Here at Finest Magazine, we are coming a little different this upcoming season. Instead of us bringing our point of view on basketball throughout the DMV, we decided to let those who are engaged in the battles speak. We bring the TIMEOUT series, a monthly entry focused on letting those "engaged in the battle" have a voice. First up is Prince Georges Community College Men's Basketball sophomore guard and captain Lavonte Sanders. Sanders, is a ultra athletic combo guard who averaged 10.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as a freshman and was key in helping PGCC win the NJCAA Region XX Championship. Now, as a team leader, Sanders is looking to elevate not only himself but the team as a whole to greater heights this season. Check out what he has to say and keep an eye on PGCC this season. - Finest Mag CEO Cardell Dudley

Photo Cred - Ron Bailey

My name is Lavonte Sanders and I’m a sophomore guard on the men's basketball team at Prince George’s Community College. I’m 18 years old going on 19 in November. I was born in Washington DC, then moved to Upper Marlboro, Maryland when I was 7 years old. I later went to James Madison Middle School, where I played basketball my 8th grade year. Then, I attended Henry A. Wise High school, where I played junior varsity for two years before moving up to varsity my last two years. My senior year of high school, I was blessed to win the 4A state championship finishing with an overall record of 24-2. After I graduated, I decided that I was going to continue to play basketball at Prince George’s Community College, under coach Xavier Joyner at the time. Now, we have a new head coach, Jimmy Watkins, who was the assistant coach and a close friend of coach Joyner. I think even though Joyner left, we wont miss a beat. Being a sophomore, I have a bigger role this year and also big shoes to fill. Knowing this is my last year I focus a lot more on my classes and trying to graduate on time. Classes are going very well and I’m planning to raise my GPA above the 3.0 I had last year. As a team, we started our preseason workouts very strong. We all have been competing at a high level, and also we're getting familiar with each other. Running hills, the track, and the running in practice is going to help us tremendously during the season. Majority of the team are freshman with four sophomores, but I still expect this team to compete at a high level and capture a third straight championship. Last season, we started off rough, but ended up winning the Region XX championship, but fell short in the District Championship. I know if we work hard this year, stay focused, and play as a team, then we can do better than we did last year. Being that this is my last year, I expect to have a breakout sophomore year. I want to improve all of my numbers this year in scoring, assists, rebounds and shooting percentage. I’m putting in a lot more work this year so I can become a completely better player, and get a full scholarship to the Division I level. For me personally, my goals are to get a full basketball scholarship first. Then work hard at my four year school, get my degree, and if it’s in God’s will, pursue a career in the NBA or overseas playing the sport I love. My family is also very supportive when it comes to me reaching my goals. Being a Christian family, we know as long as God is on my side and I keep my faith I can do anything. Earlier this year, I lost my Grandmother to a disease she had. It was tough on the family at first, but we pushed through it. I know my grandmother is always watching me, so every game I play it will be dedicated to her. I want to be able to sign my letter of intent to a four year school and know my grandmother and especially my mother are proud of me. My mother has been with me my whole life in basketball. The sacrifices she has made for me is unexplainable. She's been to all of my games and is the most supportive person I can ask for, that’s the main reason I work as hard as I do. Coming out of high school under recruited and also under rated fuels me to push and work every day. My work is not done though. Signing a letter of intent on a full basketball scholarship is one step closer to reaching my goal. I see this year season bringing big things.

Sanders came up big for PGCC in the District Championship game finishing with 20 points (7-11 FG) , 7 rebounds and 3 steals in a loss to Sandhill Community College 99-92

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