DANVILLE — Essex County College freshman teammates Christopher and Jordan Compas had plenty of reasons to miss practice last week as the Wolverines were preparing to play in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.
Their mother, Lisa Compas, passed away on March 6.
But Christopher Compas, who recorded a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds in the Essex County 85-82 win over Dean College, said being on the basketball court is exactly what his mother wanted him to do.
“It was hard to mentally focus — it’s really hard,’’ said Christopher Compas of Montville, N.J. “All week I was distracted, but I know this is what she wanted me to do. She wanted me and my brother (Jordan) to keep going to practice even when she was sick.
“I’m just trying to make her proud this week.’’
Every mother would be proud with the way that Christopher and Jordan Compas have handled this situation, according to Essex County coach Corey Lowery.
“I’m almost 40 years old, and if I lost my mother, I would be heartbroken and it would be extremely hard to overcome that for me,’’ he said. “I just proud of them being here. As men, there are things that we have to deal with in our lives, we have to overcome and keep moving on. That’s first and foremost.
“We have dedicated this tournament to their mother, and I think it was fitting that we were going with him down the stretch.’’
Christopher Compas scored eight of his team-high 21 points in the final 6 minutes, 49 seconds, but no two points were more valuable for the Wolverines (26-5) than the two free throws he knocked down with 34.4 seconds left giving Essex County a 83-82 lead.
“I was actually in that position earlier this season against ASA (College) and I made the first and missed the second,’’ Christopher Compas admitted. “They came down, hit a basket and won the game (93-90 in overtime).