Video and Written Feature by Nic H., Concordia Applied Journalism
With many teachers leaving Concordia in the 2020-21 school year, there is no doubt that a void will need to be filled in the coming years. However, the basketball program remains unfazed by the drastic change to coaches and players, specifically seniors who are leaving this year.
I have personally been on the basketball program for 5 years, dating back to when I first started in 8th grade. The many fond memories, including winning titles such as SISAC sophomore year and playing Jr. NBA this year, are treasured by me as I will probably remember these moments for the rest of my life. Nevertheless, due to COVID restrictions, we were unsure whether or not games will be allowed this year, yet we were able to play in Jr. NBA, which excited both the players and the coaches.
Players' expectations weren’t high as COVID precautions took away a lot of game opportunities from the previous year. “We weren’t expecting any games but we got to play quite a big amount of games with different competitors,” said Jeremy Y., a senior at Concordia. APAC was still canceled, and many players were extremely disappointed by the outcome.
Coach John Furth, who has been coaching varsity basketball for five years, followed up the situation with potential news about APAC next year by saying that, “the six mainland APAC school will hopefully be able to travel inside China to do APAC as normal.” He also stated that if APAC were to happen, it would be a “mini super-APAC” where it’ll be played in our gym.
On the surface, basketball is just a sport that many people enjoy watching. The ball landing on the floor after the swish of the net excites the audience as much as the players themselves. Yet, the basketball program represents much more than the sport itself. One of the biggest values that the program represents is the concept of respect both on the court and off the court.
“Off the court, I want them to be people who other students look up to”, stated Coach Furth He says that “basketball is a privilege, not a right.”. The strict sportsmanship protocols in the basketball program are evident to all players as they’re emphasized ever since tryouts.
“Respect on the basketball team is encouraging and lifting up your teammate, even when they do something wrong”, says Jeremy Y.
“Listening was the best sign of respect in my opinion when it came to being an underclassman”, says Charles W., a senior and captain of the varsity basketball team. He’s been a member of the varsity basketball team ever since sophomore year.
The virtue of respect both on and off the court is a part of maturing as young adults, and it is undoubtedly expressed on the basketball court. Of course, there will be incidents sometimes where players clash over different interests, but players usually resolve it in the end by hashing it out.
Moving forward from this, though, is the development of new players on the field for next year. With many senior powerhouses leaving this year, it will be crucial to develop young talent for the following season.
“There’s going to be a lot of big shoes to fill as most of our centers are from our grade,” says Charles W. With nine seniors leaving this year and leaving six underclassmen on the varsity team, there will be a shortage of players. This means that many players from junior varsity and potentially new students will have to fill the missing roles.
Coach Furth has a regiment to tackle this problem, though. He says, “I will do my best to do offseason to put together workout plans but it’s really up to each player.”
Basketball is a year-long program, albeit being only a season two sport. Many athletes train hard to condition themselves year round to perform better during the season. With that in mind, the future of the basketball program is looking bright for the future contenders.
Nic H. is a student of Concordia Applied Journalism.