(Joel Lively)

Joel Lively

Where the Legacy Begins: Freshman Basketball

September 18, 2019

We all dream about playing under the lights or on the court, with hundreds of eyes on us. At the high school level, everyone dreams to play varsity, but it’s not a given and many people take for granted where it all begins. The freshman team: some people think of it as the worst of the worst, but truly it’s where the talent is discovered, improved, established, and it’s much more than just basketball. The memories made will last forever. The coach has a hard position, and he never knows what he’ll get talent wise. He must develop or improve what the players have to offer. The freshman coach and players aren’t ever talked about, but they need to be. It all starts freshman year; the players and coach in the same boat. New school, new season, new talent, it was a first for everyone. Although the season was filled with hard work, the team found time to sneak in some fun and make unforgettable memories. 

To focus on the season, it was very successful. The freshman team went 15-0! Winning close nail biters, and comfortable leads by as many as 20 points. Many of the players favorite memories from the season involved games. “My favorite freshman experience was when we played GJ at home. The energy the crowd brought and the hype of the rival game was incredible,” Jayce Jessup said. 

The freshman experience brought so much more than just basketball improvement. Many memories were made and every player has their own favorite memorysuch as bus rides, games, team dinners, Christmas break 5 on 5, playing 1 on 1, and the million jokes made between the players and their coach. “My favorite memory was the jamming bus rides on the bus rides to away games,” said Grayson Skeen. The bus rides to many people were the highlight of every away game.

I asked many of the players looking back what’s one thing that has stuck with them. I expected goofy memories, and many different answers, but they all turned out the same. Each player talked about how supportive and encouraging Zack Labine was. “He was easy to relate to and talk too” said Jessup. As important as success is to coaches, Coach Labine seemed more into the memories made and how the players improved. There’s really no pressure for freshman, there’s no championship, no heartbreak. It teaches a lot, to understand at the basic level the keys to success on and off the court. Once you get to the higher levels winning seems to be all that matters no some much about the individual but the team. I believe that was the best thing Coach Labine taught us. To care for each other to work together, and we say what happened when we listened but also when we didn’t. When the individual self took over you could see how the entire mood of the game changed. But when we worked together nothing could stand in our way.

The 2018-2019 freshman basketball season was much more than 15 wins. It was bigger than the 13 players and one coach, because of that season, the bonds and memories will forever be with us. We all should thank our freshman coaches when given the chance. I think most players take their job for granted, but they help develop, and continue the legacy so one day you can achieve your varsity dreams.

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