OTTUMWA, IA – Indian Hills Community College will honor the 1996-97, 1997-98, and 1998-99 National Champion Basketball Teams in a virtual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony this Saturday, February 13, 2021, at 7 p.m., on GoHillsTV.
Over the course of three seasons, the Indian Hills basketball teams were nearly perfect, amassing a record of 112-2 on their way to back-to-back-to-back NJCAA National Tournament Championships. The Warriors garnered national attention by eclipsing the intercollegiate record for most consecutive wins with 89, which surpassed UCLA’s mark of 88 wins from 1971-74. The trio of National Champion IHCC teams scored 100 or more points 32 times in three years span, and put 10,277 points on the scoreboard, an average of over 90 points per game.
The 1996-97 team, led by Warrior Head Coach Terry Carroll, included a fast-paced run-and-gun offense that outscored their opponents by an average of 92.9 to 69.3. Throughout the course of the season, nine different Warriors led the team in scoring and the balanced offense included four players who averaged double figures: Pete Mickeal (14.3), J.J. Green (13.5), C.J. Bruton (12.1) and D.J. Dunbar (10.6). Following the 89-80 victory over San Jacinto (TX) in the championship game at Hutchison Sports Arena (KS), Green, Mickeal, and Bruton were named to the All-Tournament Team, and Bruton collected William B. French National Tournament Most Valuable Player. Coach Carroll was named NJCAA National Tournament Coach of the Year. The 1996-97 team finished their championship run with a record of 38-1.
The 1997-98 team left little doubt that they would make another run deep into the NJCAA National Tournament. The team outscored their opponents by an average of 87.9 to 66.8, including a decisive 15-point victory in the national championship game over Shelby State (TN). Throughout the course of the season, seven different Warriors led the team in scoring and five players finished the season with a double-digit scoring average: Mickeal (21.9), Shon Coleman (13.2), Terry Black (11.8), Jeff Walker (10.3) and Alvin Mitchell (10.4). After celebrating a perfect season of 38-0, T.Black was named to the All-Tournament team and Mickeal was crowned William B. French National Tournament Most Valuable Player. Carroll was once again named National Tournament Coach of the Year.
Under the tutelage of newly elevated head coach, Mike Capaccio, the 1998-99 squad capped off the millennium in spectacular fashion winning 37 of their 38 games, and topped the 100-point barrier nine times throughout the season. The team outscored their opponents by an average of 82.2 to 66.1, including an incredible 71-point victory over DMACC at the Hellyer Center in the eleventh game of the season. The balanced offense was led by five Warriors who averaged more than 10 points per contest: Coleman (15.6), T.Black (13.8), Cory Hightower (13.3), James Zimmerman (11.7) and Travis Robbins (10.4). After completing the three-peat, Barron Thelmon was honored as Bud Obee Small Player of the Year, T.Black was named to the All-Tournament Team and Hightower was tabbed as the William B. French National Tournament Most Valuable Player. Capaccio collected National Tournament Coach of the Year honors.
Four members of the National Championship teams were previously inducted into the Indian Hills Athletic Hall of Fame as individuals: Mickeal (2012), Bruton (2013), Black (2014), and Hightower (2019).
Fans of Indian Hills Athletics can watch the Induction Ceremony live on GoHillsTV.com at 7 p.m. There will be a moderated question and answer session and fans are invited to ask questions prior to the event by visiting indianhills.edu/HOFform.