Former Comets star Bernard commits to Baton Rouge-CC

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 7, 2009



The inaugural season of men’s basketball is on the horizon at Baton Rouge Community College, and one local prep star is getting in on the ground floor.

Former St. Charles Catholic basketball standout DeMarcus Bernard has committed to attend and play at the school, which is launching a basketball program for the first time since the college’s establishment in 1995.

“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to play at the next level,” said Bernard. “It’s a privilege, not a right. I’ve worked so hard for it. I just thank God, my mom, my dad, St. Charles, all of my coaches, and Baton Rouge Community College for allowing me this chance.”

A versatile scorer and distributor, Bernard played both point guard and shooting guard in his tenure with the Comets. Last season, he fought through an ankle injury as a senior and averaged 12 points and four assists per game in a tough District 9-3A, where the Comets matched up with three teams – Port Allen, Lutcher and Plaquemine – that spent time ranked in the Class 3A top 10 poll.

His impact on the Comets was noticeable on and off the court – SCC started the season 4-3, then went into a 3-9 slide that coincided with an ankle injury that sidelined, and then hobbled Bernard. But in district play, SCC rebounded to make a late run at the postseason that fell just short. The Comets finished ranked 33rd in power points – the top 32 go to the state tournament – after two upset wins over a ranked Port Allen team.

SCC coach Chris Perrone says Baton Rouge is getting a steal of a player.

“The sky is the limit for DeMarcus. I don’t believe he has reached his full potential yet as a player,” said Perrone. “He knows how to play the game, and I think his mental grasp of things on the court sets him apart. I think the key is the physical aspect – there’s no reason he can’t be successful if he’s serious about his conditioning.

“He can play. This is a good situation for him, and also for (Baton Rouge).”

Bernard said he came to the decision to attend the school based on a number of factors, among them its smaller size and also the style of play that BCC coach Todd Foster (former head coach of Christian Life Academy) teaches.

“We played against (Christian Life) in my junior year,” said Bernard. “I really like his philosophy of the game. I feel like the school reminds me of St. Charles, and I already feel welcome with the players on the team.”

Bernard credits his relationship with his father, Gerald Sr., for turning him onto the game – watching high school, college and pro games with him built his interest, and he says his father has coached him since his youth.

“It’s great for him,” said Gerald Bernard, Sr. “I think he’ll adjust well to college. I’m looking forward to seeing him out there…I know I’ll be at every game he plays.”

That, of course, includes the first. For this former Comet, playing for the first team in BRCC history gives his debut a little extra meaning.

“It’s a chance to go down in history,” DeMarcus Bernard says. “There will never be another first men’s basketball team there.”