Every team has their own niches, but the Ferris men’s basketball team is all about family.
The Bulldogs added four new faces this season in wing Deng Reng, point guard Jeremiah Washington and two post players in Ryan Segall and Aiden Shore. All these Bulldogs are looking to continue the succes that Head Coach Andy Bronkema has built for the program.
The Ferris men’s basketball program is the first and only current Division II team to win 20 games or more in the past six years.
“As far as the teams that recruited me within winning, Ferris would rank number one if I were to rank the teams that recruited me, and I come from a winning program so why not keep the tradition going,” Washington said.
“From when I first got here until now, I feel like I’m a totally different player coming to this program as I have tweaked a couple errors, I had with my game but I just feel myself getting better and better. And every day I thank the coaches and my mom and everybody that helped me make the decision to become the player that I am becoming. But the road doesn’t end here because there’s so much more I need to work on and so much more they are going to help me with,” Washington said.
All five young players said they want to help to contribute in any way they can that’s best for the team and the program. Shore said he really liked how the program is so good at building players from such a start, even with redshirts.
“I’m hoping to continue the succession by really pounding it into the post and having a big fellow you can throw it too, and I’ve been talking to coach a lot about that and I’m excited to see what happens next year,” Shore said.
“Being able to play and contribute as much as possible, the outcome is to win a national championship, so if we do that, we will get a head start the next three years here,” Reng said. “It shows that my work is paying off and that they actually believe in me and it’s just great to be a part of being a Ferris Bulldog.”
The men’s basketball team has shown family aspects of working toward this common goal together. In practice or at games one can see the amount of energy each player gives not only for the game but for their coaches and fellow teammates, and it all comes down to playing for one another.
“The guys on my visit, people like Mike were just welcoming, and then overall, camp was just great and I like the coaches. But overall, the program is just awesome especially with a winning program the past six years,” Reng said. “I have family back home, but this right here is something special. There’s just something about these guys that gets the best out of everyone, and it’s just great to be a part of the Bulldog family.”
The Bulldogs currently stand at 21-5 so far this season as they spilt this past weekend, losing to Ashland 65-53 on Thursday, Jan. 30. The team then turned things around to start the month of February with a win over Wayne State 93-67 as Ferris started off with 10 three-point shots in the opening half in the win.
Ferris will be back in action again Thursday, Feb. 6, at Jim Wink Arena against Saginaw Valley State University with a 5:30 p.m. tip-off, and then will host another game Saturday, Feb. 8, against Northwood starting at 1 p.m. These two games will start a four-game homestretch for the Bulldogs, who play five of their seven remaining games on their home court.