Coach Joseph Peron has led the women’s basketball team to over 500 victories and a championship while maneuvering over a myriad of obstacles and hurdles over the past 25 years. And even when COVID-19 stuck out its ugly face and postponed the season, he didn’t let it stop him. Covid-19 did not stand in between Peron and the new recruits this season.
“This year’s recruiting process really leveled the playing field,” said Peron. “No college had a real in-person advantage—it came down to people skills, sincerity and mastering the electronic media that was available to us.”
According to coach Peron, more than half of this year’s recruits were secured through zoom meetings, leaving the coaches with satisfying results.
Two rising basketball stars, Trinity Walker, 18, and Savannah Norfleet, 21, are moving from Chicago to Los Angeles during a global pandemic — and the pair couldn’t be happier. Choosing a school is hard enough for the average Joe, but for groomed athletes like Walker and Norfleet, having to choose a good college with a great sports program while the
country is in quarantine, became quite the challenge despite the excitement.
The basketball duo described their college recruitment process as “odd and different.” Walker felt anxious when the Covid-19 pandemic struck around the same time that college recruitment was supposed to start.
“Once COVID hit, college visits were completely canceled,” said Walker. “Committing to a school was based solely off of trusting the coaches, in my experience.”
Walker sent out video links, emails and made phone calls to secure her spot on a college basketball team. Her efforts paid off when she received a call from Coach Peron at PCC.
Parallel to Walker, Norfleet started her college career at Benriver College and discovered PCC after she started the transfer process. Norfleet experienced a similar process to Walker. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, she couldn’t see the campus in person or meet the coaches, so Norfleet got creative and also sent her own basketball films to different coaches in addition to reaching out via email, in order to be recruited.
“I wasn’t really recruited, I would say,” said Norfleet. “Once I sent out my film and sent out my emails, Coach P gave me a call.”
Both players reside in Chicago, but they are looking forward to moving to California. Moving across the country to pursue basketball at Pasadena City College during the first pandemic of this century.
Walker is originally from California so the transition is just like going back home. Norfleet, on the other hand, is originally from Chicago but fell in love with California when she visited Los Angeles a few years back. Both women made their final choice in school after speaking with Coach Peron and the assistant coaches, who made them feel comfortable and welcomed.
“We conduct a lot of drills and cardio exercises through Zoom,” said Peron.”Our contact and all the girls meeting each other has not happened outside of our Zoom meetings, but relationships and chemistry has begun to develop which is really positive and important in building a team. Our viewers can look forward to an exciting uptempo dynamic scoring team who’s chief foundation will be defense, hard work and effort. This is going to be an exciting year for basketball!”
Walker was not phased by the pandemic at all.
“I chose where I wanted to go to school regardless of COVID,” said Walker. “Ask questions and get the clarity you need. You just have to trust your instincts or you won’t get anywhere.”
Norfleet mentioned that the move would be a huge transition because of the current pandemic.
“Things are gonna be different, but I believe it will all work out the way it’s supposed to,” said Norfleet. “We got a lot of new girls and great players with really good backgrounds so this season will be great.”