The historical 2016-2017 Clippers Men’s Basketball season came to an end on Friday, March 10, when the Clippers lost to the RiverHawks of Umpqua Community College 66-53 at Everett Community College. The Clippers were the lone Regional Champion to advance to the Elite 8 of the NWAC Championship.
2016-2017 produced many historical milestones for the Clipper Men’s Basketball program. The team set a program record of 18 consecutive wins, not losing between Dec. 16, 2016, and March 1, 2017. Amidst the winning streak, the Clippers clinched their first NWAC West Regional Championship with a 98-60 victory over Grays Harbor College. The win also clinched a spot for the Clippers in the NWAC Championship Tournament in back-to-back years, the second time in program history (2002 and 2003). The team’s victory over Big Bend in the Sweet 16 gave the Clippers their 23rd season win and a new program single-season wins record.
Several members of the 2016-2017 Men’s Basketball team also took home individual regional honors. Sophomore Luke Chavez was selected as the West Region MVP (second in program history) and is the West Region Nominee for Baden Player of the Year. Other members of the team earning all-region recognition include:
- Freshman AJ Hodges (Freshman of the Year & All-Region Second Team);
- Sophomore Dez Stoudamire (All-Region First Team); and
- Sophomore Buay Kuajian (All-Region Second Team & Regional All-Defensive Team).
Head Coach Aaron Landon is looking forward to next season, stating that, “We will return some very good freshmen from this year’s team. Their experience winning the West Region and contributing in big moments will help them step into leadership roles.” The team spent the final month of the regular season ranked number two overall in the NWAC Coaches Poll and, during their non-conference schedule, beat out quality opponents in Washington, Oregon, and California. The Clippers also swept the Edmonds Crossover in December by going 3-0 against Columbia Basin, Lane Community, and Edmonds Community Colleges.
The team celebrated its four graduating sophomores on March 1 during “Sophomore Night”, all of whom are graduating and are actively being recruited by four-year universities. The sophomores plan to announce their decision for transfer by the middle of April:
In addition to the student athletes, the college congratulates Coach Landon for his selection as West Region Coach of the Year and for becoming the program’s all-time wins leader this season. Landon recruited this year’s team from states around the U.S., including Alaska, Utah, California, and Oregon, and has plans to do the same for next season. “Several of our top recruits are from outside the area,” said Landon. “We’ll go anywhere to find a student athlete that is a good fit for our program and a good fit for the college.”
The Clippers finished the season 23-6 (13-1 in the NWAC West regular season). This year’s sophomore class is also responsible for 45 career wins, a program record, which is tied for second overall in the NWAC for the 2016-2017 seasons.