Happy Valley Hoopers, a Penn State alumni team, looks to make a splash in their TBT debut.
Happy Valley Hoopers is comprised of mostly former Penn State players. The rise of the Nittany Lions over the past few seasons makes this team an intriguing one to watch in the Syracuse region. It features some of the top recent Penn State players, including Myles Dread, Sam Sessoms, and Mike Watkins.
The place to be is 📍Syracuse, NY
— Happy Valley Hoopers (@HappyValley_TBT) July 23, 2023
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- Curtis Jones Jr. (Indiana, Oklahoma State, & Penn State)
- Dwayne Cohill (Dayton & Youngstown State)
- Jamari Wheeler (Penn State & Ohio State)
- Josh Harrar (Penn State)
- Joshua Reaves (Penn State)
- Julian Moore (Penn State)
- Mike Watkins (Penn State)
- Myles Dread (Penn State)
- Sam Sessoms (Binghamton, Penn State, & Coppin State)
- Shepard Garner (Penn State)
- Taylor Nussbaum (Penn State)
- Trent Buttrick (Penn State & UMass)
- Austin Waggoner (Asst. Coach)
- Daniel Spangler (Asst. Coach)
- Ross Condon (Head Coach)
- Zach Zygmunt (Asst. Coach)
- Syracuse, New York
Team MVP: Sam Sessoms
If you like watching guards score the basketball, Sam Sessoms is must-see television. He played at three colleges in five years, and at all his stops was lethal in scoring the basketball.
As a freshman at Binghamton, Sessoms averaged 17.8 points per game, leading the Bearcats. Then, he put up 19.4 PPG as a sophomore and transferred to Penn State following the season. With the Nittany Lions, Sessoms was more of a role player, averaging about 10 PPG in two seasons. However, he showcased his skillsets on more than one occasion, dropping 20+ points twice in his senior season.
At Coppin State, Sessoms averaged 20.5 PPG, his highest total. He even topped the 30-point mark a couple of times.
Happy Valley Hoopers as a few players that can put the ball in the bucket, but Sessoms is a professional scorer.
Make-or-break Player: Jamari Wheeler
I’m interested to see how Wheeler fits in on Happy Valley Hoopers. He played four years at Penn State and one season at Ohio State, improving his scoring average each season. I was always confused as to why Wheeler’s role seemed to stay the same. His minutes increased, but his role within the offense never got to be much, despite being a pretty lethal three-point shooter.
Wheeler could be a name to watch if he gets hot in TBT. He shot just under 39% from deep as a junior and a grad student. With how important three-point shooting is in TBT, Wheeler could be a difference-maker for Happy Valley Hoopers.
The Syracuse region is insanely competitive, with the past two winners of TBT both playing there. Boeheim’s Army and Blue Collar U are without a doubt the favorites to meet in the region championship game, but Happy Valley Hoopers are capable of winning their opening game against The Nerd Team and becoming a Cinderella team along the way.
Ohio ➡️ Happy Valley!
Welcome Dwayne Cohill! pic.twitter.com/l3RHiHCkwk
— Happy Valley Hoopers (@HappyValley_TBT) July 8, 2023
The team will need Mike Watkins to play tough inside, as he is their go-to big man. I’m also interested to see how Dwayne Cohill fits in. He’s the only non-Penn State alumni on the team but is coming off an incredible season averaging 18.0 PPG and 4.8 APG at Youngstown State. Sometimes, it’s these pickups that can make a difference in The Basketball Tournament.