COD’s Basketball Season Begins

Basketball season for this year’s Chaparrals starts out with a loss by just one point, but one top player this season is confident huge success lies ahead for the team.


Mark Reinhiller

Head Coach Joe Kuhn leads player Drew Gaston at practice.

Nick Karmia, Sports Writer

The 2022-23 men’s basketball season began for the College of DuPage on Nov. 3 as the Chaps faced off against Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Ill. with the men’s suffering a 62-63 defeat. 

Player Kendall Cross felt a bit disappointed in that final score, but he knows many victories are still on the way this season. 

“It’s early on in the season. We’ve still got our learning curve. We’ve still got a couple guys who aren’t playing right now with injuries,” Cross said. “Once everybody gets back, and we’re full force, we’re definitely going to be beating some teams.” 

Cross mostly grew up in Houston, Texas, and after he finished high school he chose to continue his sports journey and academics at COD. 

“It seemed like a good fit for me, a good college opportunity,” Cross said. “I have family out here, so it’s like a home away from home.” 

Playing at the college level for Cross has always been something he’s really wanted, keeping him highly motivated to be a top performer on the court.  

“As far as I can remember that’s always been the dream,” Cross said. “That was always the goal I was striving for. So I’m pretty happy that I’m here now. I’m ready to keep pushing and loving the sport.” 

Being able to take criticism, have open communication, and remaining positive are values Cross continues to live by in the sport.

 “It’s been a passion of mine. Basketball is really an outlet to give me peace of mind and step away from all the outside noise,” Cross said. “I could pick up a basketball, and get in the gym, and it really helps clear my mind. Over the years I’ve really found the love for the game. This is what I want for myself. This is the career I’ve chosen.” 

The opportunities that have allowed him to form great connections with others is what has been very important to Cross while playing this sport. 

“The main thing I take away from basketball, that I really enjoy, is the friendships and relationships that I build,” Cross said. “Over the years I’ve met so many people that are so meaningful in my life. I wouldn’t give them up for anything.” 

As a freshman player on COD’s team, the bonds with his teammates have only continued to grow.

 “As far as the whole team, we all get along well. We’re gelling and bonding pretty well,” Cross said. “As the season goes along and our chemistry really starts to pick up, we should look real good. I’m really enjoying all the friendships I’m making on the team so far.” 

The men’s basketball team hasn’t had a positive record since the 2015-2016 season, but Cross is beyond confident that streak is coming to an end this season. 

“No doubt in my mind. I think we’re definitely going to be one of the top teams in our area.” Cross said. “We’ve got some dogs on defense. We’ve got some really skilled offensive guys. It’s really going to be scary for people out here man. I really am confident, and I think we’re going to be a team to watch.” 

On April 20, COD’s athletics website announced Joe Kuhn as the new head men’s basketball coach to be leading the Chaps this basketball season. 

Kuhn is an NJCAA Hall of Famer who most recently coached at Joliet Junior College for 25 years. Through Kuhn’s leadership, he led JJC’s basketball team to the national tournament seven times, gaining the national championship title for JJC’s team in 2010. 

As the sixth coach in history to represent men’s basketball at COD, Kuhn is looking to bring the team back into the “national spotlight.” Cross really noticed Coach Kuhn’s passion during the transferring process. 

“I was really liking coach Kuhn’s vibe. He was letting me know I was gonna have the chance to come here and make an impact right away,” Cross said.

COD’s Athletic Director Ryan Kaiser believes Kuhn is the next step to bringing the men’s basketball program back to its glory days. “Men’s basketball has a rich tradition in the history of athletics at COD and having Joe on board as our head coach puts us on a path toward re-building upon that success,” 

The Chaps play a home game against Waubonsee Community College at 7 p.m, Nov. 8 at Klaas Court.