Someone once said, “When you form a team, why do you try to form a team? Because teamwork builds trust… and trust builds speed.” Now, this was in the context of the army but we’re going to use it for basketball. This is a story about forming a team, a team that will do great things. A team that will beat the odds and rise to the occasion. They will overcome adversity and move through one of the worst things anyone has to face in this life; high school.
Silvercreek, Oklahoma is a town on the smaller size, a few hours away from Oklahoma City. This story starts at the local high school, Silvercreek High; home of the Wolverines, the school and town’s most prized and hopeful possession. This Wolverine basketball team has fallen short of the championship title year after year but Head Coach Buck Adams is hoping to turn it around this year with the help of his new team…
Coach Adam’s whistle cut the air short, causing about twenty young men to stop running and bend over in exhaustion; the 10min. wind-sprints had been intense.
“Thank you all for trying out, the team will be posted tomorrow” Coach Adams called out. Since the tryout was over, the majority of boys made their way to the locker room to shower and head home. The sound of a basketball pounding on the court made Coach Adams turn around. Three of the seniors of the team were practicing their free-throws.
“Evans! Keller! Robinson!” The boys walked over to the coach. Coach regarded them closely as they did.
Jason Evans was the classic ‘jock’ of the senior class. With his dark brown hair, over 6 foot height and his dazzling smile, all the girls in the school flocked to him. Surprisingly, he was single. In his sophomore year he dated Natasha Princeton but Jason had ended the relationship early the next year to focus on basketball. Natasha had caused quite a stir in the school but everything settled down when she became assistant cheerleader. This year she was head cheerleader and had big plans for her squad. Jason had dreams of playing college ball with his good friends Brock and David and it seemed as though Natasha wasn’t dreaming the same dream.
Walking beside Jason was Brock Keller. Brock was the troublemaker of the team; always playing practical jokes and showing up for practice late. But he had a wicked jump shot and when he put his mind to it, he could make great plays. His large personality made up for his shorter stature; he was closer to 5’10 than 6’0 but he wouldn’t listen to you. He has average looks; his brown hair needed a good shear but his jokester attitude won him big points with the ladies. Coach Adams shook his head to himself; if only that boy would stop chasing girls and start chasing basketballs.
Finally Coach Adams came to David Robinson. David was something else. He had grown up with Jason and they had been teammates since they could play organized sports. On the court the clicked together to easily, it was like they could read each other’s mind. David was 6’4, tall, dark, and handsome. He was a sweet kid and could get the girls but his strict dad forbade him to date. Frank Robinson was a hard-ass to put it nicely. He drilled it into David that he wouldn’t amount to anything if he didn’t play college basket-ball. Frank threw David into every clinic and training camp he could; Coach Adams wondered if David even enjoyed the sport anymore.
“What’s up Coach?” Jason asked when the boys reached Coach Adams.
Coach turned his clipboard to face the young men in-front of him, “Have a look at the new team boys”
They looked over the list for a few moments, pointing at a name here or there. Finally Brock spoke up, “Who’s Ethan Bedford Coach?” He asked pointing to a name at the bottom of the list.
Coach Adams sighed, “He’ll be warming the pines for you this season. He was as they say ‘the best of the worst’. I had a spot to fill and his name was just the lucky one.”
“Well we’re going to be short a good point guard but I guess we can try to train someone up by regular season” David added. David was the shooting guard; the main scoring player. Brock was the team’s small forward; playing between the key and three-point line, and Jason played center positon; responsible for taking the jump ball and rebounds.
Coach Adams ran a weary hand through his balding head. Point guard in his days at Silvercreek he knew the perfect individual to play the position when he saw one. Unfortunately he hadn’t seen anyone even close to that at tryouts. His middle-aged body grew tired when he thought of the rough season ahead of him but nonetheless he clapped his hands together.
“Leave the worrying to me boys. Now go home and rest up, practice after school tomorrow.” He said dismissing them. The boys wished him a good night and gathered their belongings before leaving the gym together; Brock hitting Jason with his duffle bag and then sprinting away as Jason and David chased after him.
As Coach Adams was driving home that night, past the elementary school, he glanced at the courtyard. What he saw made him press on the brake pedal a little bit sharper than he had meant to. A figure in track pants and a hoodie was shooting a few hoops by themselves at the basketball court. Before Coach Adam’s eyes, the figure sunk five three-pointers in a row, hitting the backboard cleanly each time. Without a moment’s hesitation, Coach parked in the school parking lot and walked up to the figure.
“Great form son” He said as he approached the figure as he was mid throw, purposely. The figure started slightly at Coach’s voice but still made the 3-point shot. After retrieving the ball the young person walked up to Coach hesitantly.
“What’s your name son?” Coach asked extending a hand.
“Uh Devon Peters sir” The figure said as they pulled back their hood.
Coach Adams was taken aback for a moment and then chuckled to himself, “Well Devon, how would you like to join my basketball team?”