By: Terrance Gathers
Every winter at AHS the basketball tryouts take place. Numerous AHS students compete for a chance to gain their spot as part of the Bombardiers’ basketball team.
The achievements of those who make the team are continuously glorified from game to game, but the ones who are cut only read about it. Some students believe coaches may have a bias about who to put on the team and that prior relationships allow for favorites.
After they’re cut, aspiring players can lose faith in their basketball dreams. As this is the only thing some of them have ever aspired to; so they start not caring about other things in school. Freshman Keyshawn Johnson was cut from the tryouts and said, “Being on the team was my goal in high school and without it I hardly care.”
Being cut can lead to poor grades and a poor attitude. It would be helpful for students who are cut if there was an alternative for them so they could still follow their dream to play basketball.
The AHS student handbook specifies the criteria for the cut procedure on the basketball team, which includes ability, attitude and potential. Part of the cuts are based upon the number of spots currently open on the team.
Athletic Director and head coach for the Bombardiers Basketball team Mr. Mark Houle referred to the handbook to elaborate what he looks for when creating a team and how he decides who is cut. He emphasized ability (which is skills on the court), attitude (a willingness to play), and the actual spot a player would be put into.
Houle said it is based on “projecting where we think a player can make an impact on the team.”
He also said in the past that many players have been picked over former players and former players’ spots have “expectations but are not predetermined.”
2012 graduate and former AHS basketball player Raymond Ivey (who played all four years) disagreed with the handbook criteria and the coach’s comments that they did not play favorites or were not biased toward specific players. Ivey said, “A lot of times players didn’t make the team but deserved a spot.”
To further his point about the favoritism on the team he said, “My senior year I didn’t even try out, and made it.”
2011 graduate and former AHS basketball player Mahlik Johnson agreed with the handbook criteria believing that hard work led to the spots on the team and not the coaches picking favorites.
Johnson said, “As far as cutting players, the people who were cut either weren’t ready to play organized ball or had an attitude problem. They [the coaches] didn’t have an already made decision of who would be cut. If you proved yourself, then you would make the team.”
AHS student and current varsity basketball player Stanley Beaubrun said about coaches playing favorites that it was “to a point, because everyone kind of knows who is going to make the team.”
As for players cut, Houle said that the YMCA will be trying to offer a league so basketball lovers can continue pursuing their basketball aspirations. The program is still in the making having an insufficient amount of basketball players to sign up the first time it was offered last Fall. The YMCA will try to offer it again in the fall of 2014. For more information contact the Attleboro YMCA at (508) 222-7422.