MOONLIGHT ILLUMINATIONS: My summer as a basketball coach

Moonlight Hoops basketball league, Columbia, Mo.

Moonlight Hoops is a true Learning As I Go situation. Over the next several days I’ll post about my experiences, with some relevant photos, some are of my team, some are of other teams.

This is Demetrie. Don't ask me what he's doing, but look at what he did to his jersey. Granted, most of them were too big, but nearly every player has cut off the sleeves. D took it to the extreme.

This is Demetrie. Don’t ask me what he’s doing here, but look at what he did to his jersey. Granted, most of them were too big, but nearly every player has cut off the sleeves. D took it to the extreme.

This week I learned the hard way why they tell the coaches to take the jerseys home after the game. When Tracy and Scottie handed out the jerseys on the first day, one of them told me to collect them after the game. I heard them, but I didn’t hear them. After that first game, on a steamy, 90 degree night, the last thing I wanted to do was gather up a dozen smelly, sweaty T-shirts, wash ‘em and get them back for the next night’s game. So I told the guys to hold onto them to wear the next night. And I told them no jersey, no playing time.

The next night I came prepared to take the jerseys home — I brought a sack to put them in so I could take them home and have the weekend to wash them.

Last night, though, I fully understood why I should have been taking the jerseys home: I’ve handed out all 12 of them, but I only have nine players. Two guys never showed up after the first night, one quit over the weekend. And they kept the shirts. So now I have guys asking to be on my team but no jerseys to give them.

This got even worse tonight: only six guys showed up to play, four had their T-shirts, one had the homemade one I made for him and one had his stolen at the park before our 8 p.m. game.

The good thing about that is that the guys who are showing up are getting playing time. We have a pretty set starting five, but the guys off the bench are getting nearly as much time on the court, including our youngest player, Jaylan. The other players don’t share with him as much as I’d like, but they haven’t excluding him. That’s a win.

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One response to “MOONLIGHT ILLUMINATIONS: My summer as a basketball coach

  1. Pingback: MOONLIGHT ILLUMINATIONS: It’s still Douglass Park after all | Learning as I go

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