Courtesy photo, Green River College

Courtesy photo, Green River College

Seeing Green (River): Gators win first hoops title since 1969

Along with a ring, coach Godfrey Drake and sophomore Jaiden Feroah win yearly awards.

Auburn-based Green River College men’s basketball is coming off its best season in over 50 years after defeating Tacoma Community College in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) championship on March 17.

The hardware hasn’t stopped making its way to the Gators’ trophy case — the NWAC Player of the Year and Coach of the Year were announced on April 15.

Sophomore guard Jaiden Feroah out of Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah, was named Player of the Year for the Gators after averaging a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) this season.

“Jaiden leads by example. He isn’t a guy that talks a lot. He is a 3.7 GPA student that exemplifies everything Green River College wants their student athletes to be,” Coach Godfrey Drake said. “It feels awesome to see Jaiden finally being viewed like the team already knew he was.”

Feroah also was on top of the leaderboard in blocks with 63 (1st) and sixth in field goal percentage (60.6%).

The NWAC championship game that Green River won 69-61 ended up going to overtime where Feroah finished with 17 points and set a new rebound record of 23 for the Gators.

“This might sound crazy but Jaiden is still underrated. He is so good at basketball it’s truly scary. He dominated all season and he also dominated the tournament,” Coach Drake said in a press release.

Drake was also named Coach of the Year in his seventh season at the helm of the Gators.

“I felt overwhelmed,” Coach Drake admitted. “I fell to my knees and thanked God for giving me the opportunity to experience this. I also shared that moment with my parents back home in Mississippi. They were so proud. It was such a great moment to share with them.”

In Drake’s seventh season, Green River was on the stat leaderboard in multiple categories. The Gators ranked “third in points per game allowed (70.0), fourth in field goal percentage (48.9), fifth in three-point percentage (37.5), fifth in rebound margin per game (+4.9), sixth in points per game (85.8) and sixth in opponents field goal percentage (42.5),” the NWAC indicated in the press release.

Drake also reached the 100 win marker during this years 27-6 record. The Gators have a ‘5G’ team motto that every year changes with each group picking five words or terms that start with the letter ‘G’. This year the five were Gator > Me, Great Health, Game Changer, Gallant and Gratitude.

“These are team honors in my opinion. I can’t do this without my players trusting and believing in my vision. Their belief in our 5G culture is what made this happen. I got to go to the Final Four and be recognized with 3 other outstanding JUCO coaches in the country for our outstanding seasons. That is an experience I will never forget. I’m extremely grateful for all of this,” Drake said in the press release.

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