Talent, experience make up Hill College’s 2023-24 men’s basketball team

  Jessyca Brown
  Monday, October 23, 2023 9:35 AM

Hillsboro, TX

Hill College Men’s Head Basketball Coach Swede Trenkle is looking forward to building off the successes of last year’s program as the Rebels are about to begin their 2023-24 campaign.

One key ingredient to this year’s squad, Trenkle said, is experience – something the Rebels did not have much of during the 2022-23 season

"Last year, we had 11 freshmen and only two sophomores on the team,” Trenkle said. “This year, we are loaded with experience – as we have seven returners and seven transfers who also played elsewhere, as well as two freshmen.”

Trenkle also said having seven returners is very beneficial because these student-athletes already know the system and how he wants them to perform.

“Overall, our players who were here last year understand how hard it is to compete on a daily basis – and their experience will tremendously help us.”

Although Trenkle praised every member of his team, he did mention a few student-athletes that could make a huge impact on the team’s success this season.

“Gob Gob (a 6-3 sophomore from Manchester, N.H.) is a pure point guard who makes everyone on the floor better when he is playing,” Trenkle added. “He will have a chance to be an All-American if the team has a good year.”

Trenkle also had high praise for 6-5 forward Cameron Estill (Raytown, Missouri) who he said plays with energy, emotion, and a love for the game.

“Cameron will have an opportunity to be the best rebounder in the league,” he added,” and one of the best in the country.”

Other key players include sophomore Ben Ezegua (6-7 power forward from Toronto, Canada), who is touted as a great rebounder and can score around the rim; sophomore Manok Laul, a 6-9 forward from Jacksonville, Florida, another great shooter and rebounder; sophomore returner Kevin Rankin (6-1 guard from Victoria), who had a good freshman season and is ready to showcase his three-point shooting abilities; TJ East, a 6-4 sophomore guard from High Point, N.C., who has a wealth of college experience and can shoot and run the team well; and the talents of sophomores Isaiah Randolph (6-4 forward from Long Island, N.Y.) and Solomon Kuol (6-7 guard from Melbourne, Australia).

Trenkle also said Hill College will be playing a host of nationally-ranked opponents this season - some being familiar foes from last year.

“We actually play Odessa College and South Plains College over the Thanksgiving Break weekend,” Trenkle said. “They are both nationally ranked again this year.”

Last year, Odessa College (then ranked No. 3 in the nation) beat Hill College in the opening round of the Region 5 tournament before advancing to the Elite Eight and eventually losing in overtime to Indian Hills (Iowa).

One other weapon in Trenkle’s arsenal this season was the hiring of new Assistant Coach Julien Addison.

Addison, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was a Manager at Valparaiso University under coach Bryce Drew before transferring to Concordia University of Wisconsin where he also played for three years while earning a degree in Sports Business.

Following his collegiate journey, Addison began coaching at the high school level for five years at University School of Milwaukee before finally landing at Hill College.

“Julien has been a great addition to our program,” Trenkle said. “He has a great basketball mind and work ethic...and he’s also shown in a short time that his work with the players is really helping the team excel. We are very lucky to have him.”

Hill College opens its 2023-24 season on the road participating in the McLennan Community College Classic Nov. 3-4 in Waco.

The home opener is scheduled for Nov. 9 as the Rebels will host Brookhaven beginning at 6 p.m. in the Bob Bullock Gymnasium in Hillsboro.


2023 Hill College Men’s Basketball Roster

0 – Isaiah Randolph, Soph., Guard (Long Island, N.Y.)

1 – Gob Gob, Soph., Guard (Manchester, N.H.)

2 – Solomon Kuol, Soph., Guard (Melbourne, Australia)

3 – Kevin Rankin, Soph., Guard (Victoria)

10 – Knowledge Ruben, Soph., Forward (Douglasville, Georgia)

11 – Allen Omana, Fresh., Guard (Miami, Florida)

12 – Ben Ezeagu, Soph., Forward (Toronto, Canada)

13 – Monak Lual, Soph., Forward (Jacksonville, Florida)

14 – Donta Bonds, Fresh., Guard (Kansas City, Missouri)

15 – Cameron Estill, Soph., Forward (Raytown, Missouri)

20 – Terrence (TJ) East, Soph., Guard (Highpoint, N.C.)

21 – Daniel Hutson, Fresh., Forward (Metaikie, Louisiana)

22 – Kory Terrell, Soph., Guard (Vancouver, Washington)


For more information about the Hill College Men’s Basketball program – including schedules, rosters, directions, and much more – please visit the Hill College Athletics website at www.hillcollegeathletics.com.