By Andrew Howard ’17
Many players, no matter the sport, have their own style of play to differentiate themselves.
What type of style a player has depends on the game. Sports like basketball and baseball, although entirely team oriented, at times can be affected by a singular person’s performance.
“Each player brings certain things to a team, and one player might be a great shooter while one might be a great defender, and one might be adept at creating offensive opportunities for his teammates,” said head basketball coach Mr. Matt Hooten. “I think the challenge is how do you take all those different styles and find the five that work together the best.”
Mr. Hooten said finding the right team chemistry is almost like a puzzle because of all their different styles, and on top of that having to play another style as a whole team.
A player Mr. Hooten said had a very distinct playing style is captain Matthew Kempton ’17, who uses his physicality from football and brings it on to the basketball court.
“He plays with a physical, rugged, aggressive mindset, which is very similar to what he does on the football field,” Mr. Hooten said.
Kempton agreed saying what he has learned from football and its aggressiveness helps him in basketball.
“In both sports physicality plays a big role in gaining an edge of the competition,” Kempton said. “Football helped me to grow in strength and allowed me to be stronger on the court. Being physical is also a state of mind and is just an attitude that you have to work at. Football was big on preaching the aspects that helped me to become more physical on the court.”
Mr. Hooten said that the style of the team can change from game to game depending on who they are playing.
“We’ve played several teams where our best chance to win is going to be to push the pace and play up tempo,” Mr. Hooten said. “There have been other games where we’ve said that’s what they want to do so we have to change our style and slow it down a little bit more and be more deliberate.”
Mr. Hooten said changes in style can even happen during game, if one player is playing particularly well the team can change the style to cater to that, and if what they planned isn’t working, they must change the style to fix the issue.
Kempton said all players contribute to the team in their own way.
“Each player has a role on the team and each player contributes to the team,” Kempton said. “Whether it is someone who pushes the team in practice and makes the whole team better, or someone who contributes through their defense and hustle in the game.”