You killed my Father. Prepare to die.

The man of the hour, every hour, El Brucio, finally reveals the meaning of life.

My Photo
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

I am the Greatest.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Hoop dreams

As some of you know, I helped out the LCBI boys basketball team this year, after coming back to Outlook in January. I did it because I could, and just to see what it was like on the other side of things. I played ball in high school, but wasn't that good. But if there's one thing that I've learned, 'coaching' is quite different. I wasn't the real coach, but a pseudo-assistant, helping Paul Engen out.

Anyways, the team underachieved for most of the season. Mainly made up of grade 11's, there was a lot of things the players had to learn... over and over and over again. It's amazing how players can make the same mistakes. Never truly appreciated what coaches must go through.

So, entering the Districts weekend, we were a team on the bubble despite being fast and pretty good outside shooters. We needed to win to secure a spot in regionals, which is the tourney to get into Hoopla (provincials). Out of nowhere, the team starts executing. They're running the teams out of the building. They're moving the ball around with purpose, finding guys inside for easier hoops. They demolished both teams they faced, including Asquith in the final by over 30 points. The bench guys were playing them even.

So, on the Monday, we get the rankings and the regional draw. We were ranked 9th of 16, and go to Porcupine Plain who are ranked #1 to face VCA (Osler) in the first game. VCA is ranked #8. Asquith, who we just beat by 30, are ranked #10. We're feeling pretty good about ourselves, thinking we're peaking and that the rankings don't reflect really how good we are. We go to Porcupine Plain, and play a good game against a beatable opponent (VCA). Well, they have this one player that just gets hot. Our best player fouls out, one of the fouls was ridiculous. The refs didn't blow down the play in time when the initial foul (against us, just different player) is committed, and then they call it when our best player gets a clean steal as a makeup call. Also, there was a scorekeeping error that costs us a hoop. We lose by 4 (officially), fielding a lineup of all Grade 11s by the end (our two Grade 12 starters fouled out). The boys deserved better, and they did have the game in their hands with about 2 minutes to go (tied and had the ball), but they couldn't get a hoop.

You can't imagine how shitty everyone felt after that loss. The season was over, except for a meaningless game against the other loser (Vibank) in the regional. The guys did everything they could, include come back in the 4th after being down by 11. We were the better team. I wanted to be able to say something to them that made them feel like kings. It was incredibly depressing. 4 out of 5 times, we win that game. Anyways, I figure the only thing I can do for them is rent a movie for the team (a couple guys said they wanted to see Big Fish, so I picked that up). The next day we have to play a game nobody wants to be in. They play awful, and are only up by 3 at the half against a lousy team. After having a few words with them, the team starts playing well and we open up a huge lead. Unfortunately, Steven Knutson lands badly on his ankle and has to be taken to the hospital. Got a 2nd or 3rd degree sprain, we thought it might be broken. Still bad. I got to take over as coach as Paul dealt with Steven, which was fun (easy, considering we were winning and the game was meaningless, but still fun).

Anyways, later we find out that Asquith almost beat Canora (#7 seed) in their game. We consider what could've been. The guys will be very good next year.

I highly recommend to anyone the chance to coach/teach an extracuricular activity. You get to see things in kids/teenagers that you don't get much opportunity to do. It's amazing to see the results. They've got such an odd collection of personalities/issues; but when you see them out there on the court, really working hard and executing plays, it's a great feeling.

Anyways, basketball season is over. Which sucks. It was my only outlet here in Outlook for any kind of activity, really. But there you go, there's a sliver of my experience with the team.


Blogger Lyla said...

never experienced coaching -- reffing also brings a whole new light to the game...also highly recommended.

I really appreciated this blog. I think it highlights the Outlook experience and search for meaning during downtime.

10:10 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home