By Emily McClure
Georgia College basketball will say goodbye to six graduating seniors this year. Kadesha Gibbs and Mckenna Rushton will be leaving the women’s team., while Dwight Anderson, Terrell Harris, Ryan Blumenthal, and Rio McMillian will be leaving the men’s team. The Colonnade sat down with the seniors and asked them to reflect on their careers at Georgia College.
colonnade: What is your favorite memory from your time as a Bobcat?
rushton: I would say the end of preseason each year because we’re so excited to be done with 6 a.m. workouts.
gibbs: I would probably say the same, because I’m pretty sure I die every preseason! That last day, the end of preseason, is like “Thank God!”
blumenthal: I would say the ups and downs of the season. I mean, these guys are my brothers. I’d go through hell and back for them. It’s a long season, so there’s a lot of ups and downs. The good times are definitely good, but the bad times are good with my brothers too.
harris: Probably preseason. Just the daily struggle, the ups and downs, and the blood, sweat and tears. Going through it [the season] with these guys and making bonds closer and creating a brotherhood that we’ve probably never experienced before.
mcmillian: Sticking together. You know, that bond, that brotherhood, all the fight we had. The fight on the court and off the court to build us up, to keep us strong, and keep us together.
anderson: I would have to say my senior year. I mean, last year we were pretty down, and coming into this year, everything just fell into place.
colonnade: What is the secret to your success on the court?
gibbs: Playing as a team, and just noticing our strengths and what we’re good at, and sticking to what we’re good at, and then letting the rest of the game come to us.
rushton: We have a lot of good players, and we don’t just depend on a couple of players. So it’s good that we have a lot of diversity, and we can all just rely on each other.
anderson: I wouldn’t say there’s a secret. I would say coming to practice every day, and competing, and getting better, and that leads over to the game and playing well together on the court.
harris: I would say there’s no secret. Just the closeness and holding each other accountable. I mean, we have that much respect for each other. I mean, all of us are pretty close. This is probably the closest team since I’ve been at Georgia College.
blumenthal: I mean, honestly, it’s overrated, but it’s team chemistry. I mean these guys are some of my best friends in the world. On and off the court, we hang out together. I mean, we’re just brothers out there, playing basketball and having fun. So, I would say team chemistry is the most important thing.
mcmilliam: I don’t keep secrets, so I can’t tell you that. There’s no secret; this team just likes to win.
colonnade: Where do you see yourself after graduation?
gibbs: After graduation, I plan to go overseas to play basketball.
rushton: I’m a nursing major, so I want to go back home and be a nurse.
anderson: I’m actually going back home—I’m from Minnesota—so hopefully, I can go back home and get a job. But if I can keep pursuing basketball, that’s my goal.
harris: I’ll probably be playing professional basketball overseas.
blumenthal: Hopefully I’ll land a marketing job. I’m a marketing major, and I’ve got my whole family in Atlanta, so I want to be close to home.
mcmillian: I haven’t thought that far ahead. I’m just trying to get this championship first.
colonnade: What is the most important thing you’ve learned here at Georgia College?
rushton: We’ve got to stay together as a team, even when times are tough, which they have been, the past couple games. But we just got to learn to trust each other, and I think we have, so that’s the biggest lesson we’ve learned.
anderson: The most important thing is staying disciplined, and always staying in the gym and staying on your books, and not giving up when things get hard.
harris: Being responsible. You’ve got a lot of teammates depending on you, on the court and off the court, so just staying disciplined, being responsible, and—coming to work every day.
blumenthal: Perseverance. We’ve had a couple tough years the past few years. Obviously I’ve been here for four years, and we’ve had losing records the past three years, but this year’s really changed the culture of this program. So, just to persevere through the ups and downs of the season and life.
mcmillian: Effort. I’ve learned how to fight a lot better, learned how to be a better teammate, and be a better person.
colonnade: Tell me about someone who has particularly inspired or influenced you.
gibbs: My grandmom, from back home. She’s been my basketball coach for, like, five years, and she’s just a big inspiration in my life, in Christ and in basketball.
rushton: I would say my mom. It’s not exactly a basketball aspect, but she’s a nurse too, and she is just always working hard, and living for the Lord, like ‘Desh said. But, my dad also. He’s always pushed me on the court, and whenever I’m having a bad game I call him and he always knows what to say.
anderson: I would definitely have to say my high school coach from back home. He played college basketball and he’s been a father figure in my life. He was an all-American out of school, so he’s a very successful man and I look up to him and want to follow in his footsteps.
harris: Kobe Bryant. That’s my boy. Just his drive for the game. His passion for the game of basketball. I look up to him and want to be like him.
blumenthal: Honestly—I’m getting goosebumps right now—but it’s this man right next to me, Terrell Harris. I mean, the things he’s doing on and off the court: mentoring kids in the community, making good grades, hopefully—if he’s blessed enough—to play overseas. Man, he’s an inspiration every day in practice. He pushes me to be a better person, on and off the floor.mcmillian: My daughter. She inspires me to be a better man. She inspires me to be something great, to take every day with a purpose and utilize what you can, while you can.
colonnade: What advice would you give to freshmen athletes?
gibbs: Just seize the moment. It’ll go by fast. I’m a senior and I’ve been playing basketball all four years, and I look back, and at the end of the season, I’m like “Where did the time go?”
rushton: That’s definitely what I have to say, is take advantage of the time you have. While you’re here, don’t take it for granted and just give it your all, every practice, every game.
anderson: You have to stay really mentally strong. I feel that any student, not just student athletes, but students, when things get tough you’ve got to stay mentally strong and fight through adversity when things get hard.
harris: I would say, if you’re not one hundred percent committed to playing basketball in college, don’t even waste your time starting.
blumenthal: Stay on your books. It’s so tough to do good in the classroom and on the court. So, be good at time management, set aside time to do what you need to do in the classroom, then take care of your business on the court.
mcmillian: Give it your all, but don’t overload yourself because you think you have to. Take it one day at a time, like every senior here does it.