The Roxbury Community College team at the 2001 Division III National Tournament. (Courtesy Photo)

The Roxbury Community College team at the 2001 Division III National Tournament. (Courtesy Photo)

In 2000-2001, Bill Littlefield spent a season with the Roxbury (Mass.) Community College basketball team as they set out to win a National Championship.  This week on Only A Game, Bill Littlefield visited with members of that team and updated their story.  But, for those who missed the original, we present it here:

My introduction to the Roxbury Community College men’s basketball team of 2000-2001 came at a 7:00AM practice, after which I had my first conversation with the team’s star, Ka’reem Horton.

During half-time on one particular evening at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, where Roxbury plays their home games, Coach Malcolm Wynn provided a high-volume lesson on rebounding. It worked.

After a weekday practice, I talked with several of the players, including Jamil Abdullah. Later I learned from one of Jamil’s professors that he was not only a superb player, but also an aspiring engineer. That professor would be instrumental in helping Jamil to win an academic scholarship to Northeastern University.

I spoke with Ka’reem Horton about his plans to move on to D-1 basketball after he’d graduated from Roxbury, and learned from Malcolm Wynn about his coaching philosophy, which sometimes involves “letting nature take its course.”

Behind Ka’reem Horton’s 31 points, Roxbury wins the regional championship, bringing their season record to 29-0. They secure a spot in the national tournament, which they won the previous year.

Roxbury has to settle for third in the country, but it’s apparent that the learning isn’t going to end when the season does.

At a luncheon to celebrate the team’s 31-1 record, several of the players discuss plans to continue their educations and their basketball careers.