2023-24 ALAH Knights Varsity Basketball. Front row: Nate Hale, Will Hilligoss, Easton Frederick, Calahan Binion, Maddix Stirrett, Kendall Schrock. Back row: Assistant Coach Jeremy Hale, Lucas Butcher, Connor Nettles, Chris Kuhns, Jayce Parsons, Colin Smith, Head Coach Brad McGill
By BLAKE FAITH
The Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond boys basketball team is going to be young and will focus on the small things, but will work towards success and fight for chances at conference title and playoff run.
Head coach Brad MCGill said that “it was exciting to be back on the court and personally loves coaching basketball and coming back reinvigorated. Coach McGill said that the focus in the off-season and in practice was on doing the little things correctly.
“We are really focusing on the little things this year,” Coach McGill said. “We are going to be young and we don’t have a ton of size, so we have to do things correctly, be in the right positions, be in the right, using the right technique at all times. We have really been focusing on the small things, the little things that will keep us from losing games and help us win those closer games.”
Coach McGill expects his returning two starters, starting point guard Will Hilligoss and Connor Nettles, to have big impacts on his team. Colin Smith will take care of the interior offensively and defensively and guard Nate Hale came in and re-dedicated himself to the game. Jayce Parsons’ is out indefinitely due to an injury sustained during the football season.
Coach McGill said that leadership is to keep the class distinction not a factor and build chemistry.
“We have a solid group of kids and the one thing that’s unique about our community and our situation is that our freshmen, through our seniors, there’s very little class distinction amongst those groups,” Coach McGill said. “It’s not uncommon to see the freshmen and the seniors, in the same aura, in the same orbit, in practice, outside of practice, on the weekends, whatnot So, the outlook for our team may be a little bit, down as far as what our expectations are, but, we’re building a good chemistry with all of our groups, all four classes. And, they’re doing a wonderful job of coming together, coming together as a team. And I believe that, uh, this is going to be a constant stair step.”
Coach McGill’s season expectations for his team are to get “1% better each and every day and that given the season is about 100 games, the team should be 100 percent better by the end of the season.” With that Coach McGill believes will be in possible conference title contention and possible playoff run.
Coach McGill’s overall message to readers and the community is that this is a great group of kids who work hard and do well in the classroom and will do the same on the court and come out and support them.
“We feel that we can be competitive and we can compete with anybody that we play against and the attitudes are infectious and I believe that our fans will see that, along with they’ll see what we see in practice every day,” Coach McGill said. “And I have to say that the success of the football program has given us a little excitement. You know what, people can doubt us also, but we’re gonna come out, we’re gonna work hard, and we’re gonna let the chips fall, or they may, and at the end of the season, we should be able to look back with fond memories and have good outcomes.”