At the end of the Moraine Valley Community College men’s basketball season, the team reached its peak after a long buildup in the ongoing pandemic.

“We became who we were in late January, early February. That group played as good as they could at the end. Our guys put up a pretty good fight,” said Head Coach John Chappetto, after his third season leading the program.

Still dealing with the precautions of COVID-19, the Cyclones had a few ups and downs to contend with between rescheduled or canceled games and practices or sick players. After playing a difficult game against Morton College on Feb. 1, they made changes and competed like a new team. Ultimately, their goal became to get in the way of other teams trying to win and make them question their skills, Chappetto said.

The Cyclones finished the season at 19-10 with a 9-5 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference record for second place, ending their playoff run in the semifinals. They averaged 79.8 points and 39.7 rebounds per game thanks to a few standout players.

The 2021-22 Moraine Valley Community College men’s basketball team.

The 2021-22 Moraine Valley Community College men’s basketball team.

Freshman Anthony Taylor (Richards) became the leading rebounder (8.6/game), averaging 12 points per game and filled in where needed. For his efforts, he earned All-Conference and All-Region IV first team designation and was an All-American nominee. Sophomore Trace Williams (Homewood-Flossmoor) led the team as point guard. He averaged 10.6 points per game with a 52.5% free-throw percentage. He had to earn a spot on the team but showed everyone he deserved to be point guard. Williams earned an All-Conference honorable mention. “He plays the game with a cerebral approach and makes it easier to be a head coach. Seeing him emerge helped our season,” Chappetto explained.

Third-year sophomore Nathan Purcell (Lincoln-Way Central) and his aggressive defense on the court will be missed as will the scoring skills of transfer sophomore Isiah Burd (Bolingbrook), the offensive power of sophomore Kobe Adams (Oswego) and the improved play of third-year sophomore Jalen Levy (Rich East). Adams earned All-Conference and All-Region second team honors while Burd was an All-Region second team player and All-Conference honorable mention.

“Basketball is tough. JUCO basketball is tough. We can’t judge success on a national championship. Just getting on the floor and playing a full schedule is a win. Now we need to do better next year,” Chappetto said. “It was a fun team to coach and be around. I’m hoping for more of those fun moments.”

Looking ahead, the Cyclones are excited for Taylor and Williams to lead as the team is built around them. Chappetto also is happy to have his reliable assistant coaches, Aaron Green and Kyle Huppe, back to continue expanding the Cyclone legacy.

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For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or