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Islanders celebrate basketball teams after postseason and successful 2022-23 season

Islanders celebrate basketball teams after postseason and successful 2022-23 season
Posted at 11:24 PM, Mar 23, 2023

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas A&M-Corpus Christi fans, staff and students packed the east lawn today to welcome home the men and women's basketball programs from their postseason tournament trip. Islanders fans brought their welcome back posters, and the celebration continued in the University Center where the players signed autographs and took pictures.

"This is a great journey. I'm just extremely happy for the fellas and for the freshmen that came," De'Lazarus Keys, Islanders redshirt senior forward, said. "We helped them get a ring that you know we've been telling that they wanted since the beginning, so it feels real good."

The men have a lot to celebrate this season winning the Southland Conference regular season and tournament championship, along with winning their first NCAA DI tournament game in program history under second-year head coach Steve Lutz.

"It's definitely a surreal moment. I mean getting to be able to sign autographs and you know cut down nets and dive around in confetti with my brothers," Ross Williams, Islanders grad student guard, said. "I couldn't have wanted anything else."

The women's team, led by head coach Royce Chadwick, qualified for the first round of the WNIT (Women's National Invitation Tournament). They lost to Wyoming, but it was the islanders first postseason game since 2005 and second in program history.

"To me personally it feels great. Like I don't have any regrets to my college career," Makinna Serata, Islander redshirt senior guard, said. "I thank this whole university for accepting me as a small 1A kid and just trusting me in what I can do and in my ability all five years."

TAMU-CC's top two players Alecia Westbrook and Makinna Werrata, a Tilden native just west of Three Rivers, shared their appreciation.

"I've been with Makinna my whole career since I was a freshman, so just seeing her grow as I grew together it was just amazing," Alecia "Double-Double Queen' Westbrook, Islanders senior forward and center, said. "I will never forget the memories we made together and I just love the university. Love this team for getting me two rings in my career."

The Islanders are one of eight universities in the country that advanced both the NCAA DI men and women's basketball programs to the postseason.