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Program Spotlight: Palm Beach State College

By HoopMIA, 08/31/20, 1:45PM EDT


Going into his second season at Palm Beach State College, Coach Rich Grant is looking to cement his mark in program history.  During his first season at PBSC, (2019-2020 season) Coach Grant's Panthers went 13-17 and 4-8 in Southern Conference play, coaching one 1st Team All-Conference selection in Tim Holland and three 2nd Team All-Conference selections in Nick Edwards, Tyrus Johnson, and Emanuel Hylton.  Look for the Palm Beach State Panthers to make some noise in Region 8 this upcoming season.  


​​​​2019-2020 Palm Beach State Signees:

  • -Tim Holland (Arkansas State)
  • -Nick Edwards (Glenville State)
  • -Mohamed Fofana (Valdosta State)
  • -Amari Goulbourne (Southwestern College)

A List of Newcomers and Returners:


-6’6 Redshirt Sophomore Wing David Begic- Academic All American. Transfer from Maine  

-6’7 Redshirt Sophomore SG Phil Smith- Redshirted with us last year but is a transfer from FIU

-6’1 Redshirt Sophomore PG Dato Aphkhazava- Redshirted this past year but is a transfer from Southern Utah

-6’6 Redshirt Sophomore Wing Matthew Allman- Redshirted this past year with us.

-6’2 Redshirt Freshman Guard Jordyn Lilley- Redshirted this past year with us.


-6’7 Sophomore PG Khalil Turner- Transfer from Rider

-6’5 Sophomore Combo Guard- Javonni Quince- Transfer from Webber International. Led them in Rebounds, Steals, Assists and Charges as a freshman

-6’6 Freshman Wing Carl Bigord- from Central Pointe Post Grad

-6’7 Redshirt Freshman Point Forward Bakari Simmons- Transfer from Texas A&M

-6’9 Redshirt Freshman Wing Peyton Williams


What are your expectations for PBSC this coming year?

My goal is for my athletes to exceed expectations in the classroom and on the court. I always preach, “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” We pride ourselves on keeping their dorms pristine, striving for the most optimal performance in the classroom, and giving your best effort on the practice field. We put the onus on everything leading up the game because that is the easiest part. The pressure is never on you to perform, the pressure is on you to prepare.


How do you feel about NJCAA decision to move basketball to a spring session?

I feel like that is the most well weighted decision that could’ve been made. The uncertainty of our economy, health system and sports is all in question. The pushback gives us all an opportunity to observe, prepare and strategize to keep our kids and families safe vs. putting everyone in our society at risk.


What players will you miss the most from last season? Who are you most excited to coach next year?

  • Honestly this sounds generic but I will miss all of them as they were the first class of my first head coaching opportunity. Those kids believed and trusted in me and put their athletic futures in my hands.
  • This upcoming year I am very excited to coach all of these kids. I had more time to court these kids during the recruiting process than I did this time last year. They are all intrinsically motivated for different reasons whether it be seeing it as a way to help their individual families or for personal vendettas that they want to subjugate. This group has the potential to be special because they all seem to have a chip on their shoulders. Khalil Turner’s story is amazing. Carl Bigord’s rise from the slums of Haiti and his story is amazing. Bakari Simmons wants to rise from his NBA father Bobby Simmons shadows. Phillip Smith who was probably our best player last season before getting injured wants to reestablish his name. Returner David Begic who was an academic all American is excited to return. Dato Aphkhazava who is a transfer from Southern Utah that redshirted with me is a dog and I am excited to let him off of the leash this season. Matthew Allman who was our most efficient 2 way player before he was injured does the right thing at all times. Last but not least, Javonni Quince who is Palm Beach County Native will be a major factor. At Webber International during his freshman year this past season, he led them in rebounds, assists, steals and charges.


What changes do you expect to see in all of college basketball this coming season due to COVID-19? (Non-NJCAA how it effects 4-year schools recruiting calendar)

  • There will be less prep school vs juco games for the reasoning of juco players being evaluated against similar talent. I foresee more 4 year schools recruiting from the prep school level here in Florida because there are a lot of unsigned 2020s that elected to take a GAP year for the betterment of their recruitment. I also feel the NCAA 4 years will actually be on the road recruiting JUCO kids live and in person due to the limiting of games.

Will you be open to playing more geographically located prep schools this year?


How does the new law in the state of Florida allowing college athletes to accept endorsements affect the junior college student athlete?

  • Due to our games being limited from 30 to 22, we will be playing all junior colleges with year with 1 or 2 exceptions. We want to have the best schedule with the best opposition in the nation to put our staple on full display.


Who would be your all time-starting 5? (Of the guys you coached at all schools)


-Donovan Mitchell- Coached him while I was with the aau program The City

-Tremont Waters- played for my program in NJ that I Co Founded with my brother Trevor Harris. North East Basketball Club

-Trevelin Queen- Played for me at New Mexico Military Institute from 2017-18. Led all of juco in scoring and picked up 75 offers. Currently a 2020 NBA draft prospect

-Cormac Ryan- Redshirt Sophomore at Notre Dame

-Michael Carey- Coached him while I was coaching at Wagner College from 2015-16. Led us to a NEC regular season championship