Making the Team

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After training in workouts for several months, it is finally time for men’s basketball tryouts.
Coach Scotty Williams has expectations for all of his players.
“Run hard, talk loud and listen well. Compete hard every moment you’re at tryouts. Give high-fives to your teammates and support them. Be a fountain of energy, not a drain,” Williams said.
Tryouts are competitive, but open to anyone.
“Tryouts are very similar to a job interview. I’m trying to see who will be the best fit for our program,” said Williams. “One of the first things I tell them is that the best 15 players in the gym won’t make the team– it’ll be the 15 players who will play West Johnston Basketball the best.”
According to senior Daniel Stephenson, fear of failure is just as unacceptable as failure itself.
“Never sell yourself short. If you mess up, keep going. It’s worse to get mad at yourself if you mess up than if you just try to do better afterwards,” Stephenson said.
Williams tries to stick to general guidelines when delegating which team players will make.
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“JV is typically ninth and tenth graders and Varsity is typically tenth and eleventh graders. However, if a ninth or tenth grader is talented enough to be a great fit for our varsity team, I consider pulling them up,” Williams said.
However, moving up a JV player is not always the best option.
“It’s a more complex decision than people think– if I take a kid who averages 20 points per game on JV and make him a middle-rotation varsity player, he may not handle it well,” Williams said.
According to Stephenson, prospective basketball players should consider attending pre-season workouts.
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“It’s good for the coaches to see that you care and that you’re committed,” said Stephenson. “Not only does it make you more fit and ready to play, but it also lets the coaches see that you’re ready to play.”
Williams isn’t looking for perfection as much as he is character and effort.
“Our team has competed for a playoff spot in the past. I’m anticipating a team that has great character, works very hard, and maximizes their talent level, led by a fantastic senior class,” Stephenson said.