Puzzles serve as a great metaphor for many things in life. One thing it’s particularly easy to compare a puzzle to is a sports team. Everything from the practices to who plays what position to what the coach is like comes together to form the big picture of the team or the team’s goal. Without one piece, the puzzle cannot be completed just like a team isn’t complete without all of it’s aspects.
Recently I caught up with a few members from the AMHS boys varsity basketball team to try and put together the puzzle of their team and the 2016-2017 season. Currently 4-2 in conference and 8-4 overall, the team falls second in Cascade Conference rankings to rival Kings High School, who they lost to by only 7 points last Friday night. This puzzle is about so much more than just wins and loses though, so here’s what I found out about some of the puzzle pieces helping to make the Wildcat’s click.
Practice. Junior forward Trey Miller, who has been playing basketball for 10 years, said during practice the team works on a lot of positional and individual skill work. “We spend some time on offensive and defensive sets too,” he added. Practices usually concludes with scrimmage time.
Brotherhood. Just from watching the team play together, you can tell they have a strong bond. From making jokes on the court to supporting each other from the bench, the team is visibly comfortable with each other and enjoy playing as a team. “The team is super fun to be around all the time. It’s a great group of guys,” Sam Johnson, junior guard, commented.
Coach. The Wildcats hired a new head coach this year, Anthony Slater. Slater played in college and several professional leagues; he’s spent the past few years coaching a Washington Elite AAU national team. The AMHS team had good things to say about him. “He gives us the freedom to just play basketball,” Jeric Williams, another junior guard said, “instead of giving us particular plays every time.”
Passion. “I’ve been playing basketball ever since I could remember,” Johnson said. Williams added for himself, “I love everything about the game. I love the atmosphere, the adrenaline during games, and the ability to make plays.”
The Goal. “This team is creating a new name for AMHS basketball,” Miller said. The team’s focus is to go win by win and make it to the Cascade Conference Championship, which will be happening in a few weeks. Of course, from there the goal would be to continue moving forward win by win into the post season.
And there you have it. Some of the most important pieces to this 2016-2017 AMHS boys varsity basketball team. Keep an eye out for them in the next few weeks, because I assume they’ll be doing some pretty big things.