Last year, Richmond Hill was plagued by losing games by a very wide margin. That’s not happening this year because of good defense…because of CJ Bynum. This has only amplified the offense and has turned into many victories this season thus far. For this, defensive leader Bynum is named the December Bryan County Athlete of the Month.
New Head Coach William Altman and his defensive-minded philosophy has been determined to turn the trend of giving away so many points. No one on the team has embodied that concept so far this season more than Bynum. Bynum is the type player that won’t garner a lot of flashy statistics, but will be as fierce a defender at the end of the game as he was in the beginning.
"CJ has been a huge help to us this season," Coach William Altman said. "He has a knack for grabbing rebounds and being smart about it. In a team where rebounds are scarce, we need all we can get and he provides that for us. You’d never think that was so by just looking at his size (5’ 10"), but he leads the team in rebounds. He also leads in charges which, for me, is the most important category."
Altman said Bynum’s impressive number of rebounds and charges go to show the amount of heart this young man has for the sport because "you put your body in harm’s way when you initiate a charge. It’s valuable to this team also because you’re looking at a potential four-point swing with each charge. You can go from being down by two to up by two because of a charge."
Altman said Bynum goes above and beyond his given position and, in doing so, is a great role model for the rest of his team.
"I’m very proud of CJ," Altman said. "He’s really stepped it up defensively and provided a lot for us as a team. One night CJ may not score. One night he may step it up and score 12 points. One thing he does consistently is rebounds and charges. Most importantly, he’s a team player. He’s taken a leadership role when needed and he leads by example.
"He’s always had that athletic spirit, but I think this is his breakout year," said his mother, Gloria Bynum. "He is a very responsible big brother and a good student. CJ is the oldest of three boys, and they lost their father three years ago. CJ has become such a man over the last few years and his performance on the basketball court is just one more reflection of this. I’m so very proud of him."
Bynum said his determination on the court derives from his love of the sport, which he has played since the sixth grade at the rec level. He said it is his goal to continue to play basketball at the collegiate level as he works toward a medical degree.
Honorable mentions: RHHS basketball’s Chakiris Moss and Tyler Carlson, RHHS wrestling’s Jacob Fox, and BCHS basketball’s Winston Johnson and Brittany Slater.