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.

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.

21 January, 2007

Chicken Little

Jesus (Buttercup) has been the only fourth grader on the team all year. All his teammates attend the Middle School while he is in the Intermediate. His teammates can talk about the games and practices while Jesus had nobody with whom to talk basketball. He didn't complain however but I suspected that he wanted a peer on the team.

Branden (Chicken Little) entered our district this fall and quickly came to the attention of the school authorities. He was a nice enough kid but he had a bad habit of getting in trouble at recess, specifically he was choking kids, and he didn't know his math facts.

I took time in December to pop in Jesus' class. I started helping Branden with his math and told him to stop choking kids at recess. Since I took away one activity, I had to provide a replacement. I called over Jesus and told Branden instead of getting in trouble follow him and play basketball instead. Then I invited him to practice.

Branden eagerly accepted and showed that he had a lot of energy to give the team. The difficulty was learning how to harness it for basketball. Branden ran without complaint, he shot lay-ins, and did his best in the drills. However when not given a specific task he was also observed running around in circles, climbing the wall, and doing cartwheels (sometimes during the scrimmage). His predilection for running around in circles in a sometimes aimless manner made choosing his nick name easy.

Currently Branden remains on the practice team as he develops his skills. If he keeps coming to practice, he'll probably join the game team this spring. For now he works on shooting, dribbling, and all the basics, and at odd times like when the coaches are giving directions an occasional cartwheel.


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