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What it takes to build a successful basketball team

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It may be easy to spot the winner, but it is hard to notice the effort. Basketball is a popular sport universally, but behind a successful team, the effort of athletes and coaches is often left unnoticed.

SIS has had numerous successful basketball teams in the past. For example, last season, the varsity girls finished second in the KAIAC tournament. This winter season does not disappoint, with both varsity teams having secured victory in the Korea Classics tournament at the beginning of the season. But first, what does a “successful” team look like?

“A successful basketball team has multiple levels to it,” Tim Munro, the varsity boys basketball team coach, said. “A strong defensive play, not just individually but as a team as well, players with good fundamental skills, a coach who is able to teach effective team concepts so individuals can apply individual skills into team play, and last but not least, players who understand the game so that they can apply what they have learned into the fluidity of the game, no matter who their opponents may be.”

There is more to the journey behind a successful team.

“Number one, they have to put in the hard work to learn,” Morgan Miller, the varsity girls basketball team coach, said. “You also need to build a successful team where people trust each other, in general, go to battle for each other, stick up for each other, and help each other be successful.”

The basketball teams spend a lot of time outside of the court: the bus rides to away games, the practices that happen almost every weekday, and the time spent together allows for the players to grow a bond. 

This season, many teams have made Instagram accounts to promote their team. For example, the SIS varsity girls basketball team has an account: @mcdunking_. The Instagram account displays the close relationship between the players and the coach. The account highlights posts for each individual player of the team (including the coach), and memes. 

“Teams with multiple players of high skill but with little ability to work with his/her teammates, that team might not win,” Mr. Munro said. “But if the players have developed the requisite skills and are willing to work with the team and the coach’s philosophy, then a team can be successful more often than not.”

In basketball, there is a lot of hidden orchestration happening behind the scenes. Coaches must come up with various strategies to win the game including inbound plays, offense plays, and defense plays. 

“Coaches definitely put in a lot of effort to the team,” Ian Kim (10), a varsity basketball player, said. “I am very thankful for having a coach like Mr. Munro because his hard work and coaching allow us to win games. Also, I can feel the passion our coach has for the sport, which makes playing on his team very special. Even if we lose, he always encourages us to keep our heads up and prepare for the next game. Although we are barely halfway through the season, I have already learned a lot.”

The coaches reported that the relationship between them and the players is what makes the team even stronger. 

“They are fun to watch,” Mr. Munro said. “There is an energy level and enjoyment easily recognized during practices and games. Possibly what I like the most is the team’s cohesiveness during games that other coaches have commented on, which is attributable to what I mentioned earlier about how teamwork can make each player’s individual prowess collectively stronger. The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.”

Both coaches remain highly enthusiastic about their team.

“I like the team’s ‘swagger’,” Mr. Miller said. “When things are going well, I can see the players pumping each other up and it is really exciting to watch. I would like to see more of it. This team may be the best team SIS has ever had.”

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About the Contributor
Everlyn Chong, Reporter
Everlyn Chong is a sophomore reporter for Tiger Times Online. She enjoys playing sports, especially basketball and golf. In her free time, you may find her reading novels, walking her dog, or listening to music. Feel free to approach her with any song recommendations!

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