Coaches helping athletes in an athletic future

Lucy Cook Sports Editor

Defense Senior Eli Robinson, number 24, guards number 35 on Millard West boys varsity team. Robinson will play basketball in college after graduating high school later this spring. “Currently we have one senior, Eli Robinson committed to play college basketball at Morningside and a few other seniors working to earn opportunities,” head boys varsity coach Chad Mustard said. Photo by
Grace Walter

Many sports played in high school are also played in college, but athletes need to be prepared for college because it is different from high school.

There are many ways to help high school athletes prepare if they’re going to play in college or professionally in the future. It is overall helpful to make them better athletes.

“Everything we do is to help our players reach their goals as basketball players, students, and people,” boys varsity basketball head coach Chad Mustard said. “During the season we work to develop our players’ skill level and their understanding of the game through rigorous practices, film study, and team meetings.”

Playing basketball is not just fun and games. Not just practice helps them improve, but having the right mindset as well helps.

“We have 5 core values we teach and hold our players to,” Mustard said. “1. Leave No Doubt, do everything you can to be as good as you can be, 2. Mentally Tough, handle adversity, be coachable, learn from mistakes, 3. Family, sacrifice for the good of the team, 4.

Offense Senior Ryan Lenear, number 23, gets the basketball and hopes to make a layup for two points. Bellevue East varsity boys later lost the game against Millard West in overtime by 3, 60 – 57. “I’ve always dreamt [of] playing college basketball for my entire life growing up,” Lenear said. Photo by Grace Walter.

Compete, Play hard, work hard, etc, 5. No Excuses, Never, None, take responsibility no matter the circumstances and find a solution to make things better, don’t blame others,”

There are other ways that coaches help athletes play in college. They help them in contacting colleges they are interested in.

“They help us by reaching out to college coaches, sending their information to them and putting it in a platform where college coaches can reach us,” senior Ryan Lenear said.

Athletes of all kinds have a dream college or team they want to play on or go to for a certain reason. Maybe, a family or idol played for the team or school or grew up watching them.

“A big goal of mine is to play college basketball or even play maybe a higher pro team and get played for playing that would be amazing,” senior JJ Ball said. “Dream college would probably be Duke to play basketball there. I always grew up watching duke. I’ve been to some games as a kid. Just the environment and the way they play that would be a dream to play at Duke.”

Athletes are not always going to play in college or professionally or have other plans. It’s always good to have other plans just in case they don’t make it.

“I want to pursue athletic training. I want to be around sports,” Ball said. “ I think every day going to work [and] being around sports think that would be really fun.”