Numerous things go into having a successful season in any sport. Not only must you find chemistry with your teammates, you must also play with a chip on your shoulder and play to win, or what’s the point of playing at all? Eastern’s JV basketball team is learning all of these tools and more to take the talent they have and mold it into a well-oiled machine. It takes a lot of effort to do so, and sophomore Jackson Ueland talked about how he feels the team can accomplish this.
As the title implies, confidence is a key part of building a successful team. Jackson is feeling and experiencing that same confidence going into the new season, especially with some new faces on the team. He says that it will be easier to gain confidence than last season because “you [have] a season under your belt and you know a little bit of what to expect,” Jackson explained. The JV team this season is fielding three freshmen, bringing in some new blood to a sophomore-dominated team. Jackson also believes that the team is in good spirits despite a lopsided loss to Northern just this week. The team has had two scrimmages so far and practices almost every day Monday through Saturday. Many new concepts are being introduced this season, many of which the players are not familiar with. Jackson pointed out that at first, learning these concepts was a slow process, but now that they are finding a rhythm by playing more together, it’s becoming easier. More concepts are to follow and the JV team still has a lot to learn considering new concepts will continue to be added week by week. For the freshman on the team, some may think that it would be overwhelming, but Jackson says that he thinks they are coming along well, and although they have a lot to learn, so does everybody else on the team. Eli Prominski (‘24) also felt that the team was in a good place and that they could make a lot of shots. These next couple of practices will be critical for the team. The development of chemistry among the players must happen quickly, but it is especially difficult when there are two players switching between JV and Varsity, meaning that they play for JV but they practice with varsity for two days and JV for two days. The JV team opens their season against some top-notch schools in the area including Forest Hills Central and Covenant Christian. Jackson did not seem phased by this when asked what mindset the team should go into those tough games, saying “the teams [we’re] playing like Central, [they’re] expecting to beat us and you know what, let’s come in [and] let’s shut that down, there’s not a game [we’re] going into that we can’t win so why not?” This answer is a representation of the team’s mindset going into tough games.
Clearly, this JV team is learning as they go, taking the process slowly, and playing with a chip on their shoulder. This solid foundation should make for a very entertaining season. Although the team will experience many ups and downs along the way, they will experience many triumphs as well.
Featured image courtesy of fhehawkcamp.com