Wahluke Eagles

This blog describes the joys of coaching an AAU basketball team from Mattawa, WA. Our team and town is roughly 90% Mexican. The blog celebrates and describes life in a central Washington town through the eyes of the players and their coaches.

Name:
Location: Mattawa, Washington, United States

I work as a School Psychologist in the Wahluke School District. When I am not coaching I enjoy fishing, reading, and riding my bike.

29 July, 2006

Ridin' Pretty

Last Friday (28 July) I had a free afternoon so I called Juan and suggested we gather the kids and have a shoot around. He suggested that I call some of the boys entering seventh grade and set up a scrimmage. I tried to call some kids but was unsuccessful in getting a hold of them. So following Juan's advice, I rode into the trailer park. I went to see Alien who gave me directions to Heriberto's house. I asked if he wanted to play a game. He was interested so I asked him to round up his friends and meet us the gym.

Then Juan and I went about rounding up as much of our team as possible. We ended up with Oscar (Catfish), Tony (Fruit Cup), Chris (Alien), Alan (Big Daddy), Dario (Big D or Shaq), Jose (Grandpa Joe), Jose (My Bad), Hector (Super Mario), and Christian (Crispito). Of the nine boys, only the first four played all of last year, Dario played two games, and the other boys are raw recruits. We faced off against 5 boys who were two years older than most of team. Granted my boys have more experience but these boys were taller and bigger. Before the game we reminded the boys that this was a practice game and that winning or loosing wasn't a factor. The goal was to play.

To be honest, the bigger kids probably won the game. They won because Oscar and Tony can only so much and because when we went to our bench we were putting Grandpa Joe (a soon to be fourth grader) against a boy four years his senior. At times the boys got discouraged but we had moments of brilliance. Oscar and Tony worked their magic and their ball handling and shot selection is wonderful. Christopher made his shots and played well as a forward and center. Grandpa Joe stole the ball. And Crispito and Jose (the other one) each made a shot.

What caught my eye however was the play of Alan and Dario. Alan (our forward and center) and Dario (our five foot center of the future) meshed. Capitalizing on Dario's height we place him where he can receive the ball and make a lay-in. Usually the point guard get him the ball and he shoots. This day he got the ball but if he was under heavy coverage he immediately passed the ball to the open man instead of throwing up a futile shot. Throughout the game I heard Alan giving him directions, coaching him, and helping him develop and see the whole game.

Alan too had a great game. He has developed into a shooter with good ball control. A few times he got a fast break from Oscar or Tony and took it to the hoop. Other times he was ready for the quick pass and the open shot.

So we lost the scrimmage but some boys got a chance to sharpen their skills, experience stiff competition, and in the case of Oscar and Tony to put some pretty three-pointers against some older kids. Its okay to loose a practice game because this experience will toughen us up when the games count.

At times the older boys taunted our team as we had beat them before and the sting of loosing to their juniors still rubbed them the wrong way. At one of our time-outs Jose (My Bad) asked why we don't respond in kind. Both Juan and I responded that's not the way we play. We play team oriented disciplined basketball. We play to win. We don't show-off. We don't trash talk. We show up and talk with the ball and sometimes in Spanish.

5 Comments:

Blogger JL said...

Another great post!

July 30, 2006  
Blogger JL said...

Where was my favorite player (Joey Joseph)?

July 30, 2006  
Blogger Wahluke Eagles said...

JL- Joey Joseph can only make it to the regular practices. Two factors keep him going to the shoot-arounds. One his parents do not let him go. And secondly, if he could, Juan or I would have to drive to his house, take him to practice, drive him home, and then return to Mattawa. Round trip for that excursion is 60 miles.

July 30, 2006  
Blogger JL said...

Thanks for the update on Joey squared. I really like that kid!

July 30, 2006  
Anonymous Kevin Cary said...

"... and somtimes in Spanish."

Brilliant!

July 30, 2006  

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