(July 20, 2014) "We would like to win," says China Spring rising senior Brandon Mize.
"We haven't made the playoffs in over a decade. That's just motivation. We want to win. We want to make the playoffs."
"Our program hasn't been really good," says teammate Ben May. "It's been like ten years since we've made playoffs."
China Spring boys basketball was within two points of ending that streak last year, but the Cougars missed the playoffs by a game. It was a tough feeling, and one that stayed with the players into the summer.
They wanted to practice and get better in hopes of making the playoffs this season, but there was a problem. The team was missing a pretty important piece.
"We didn't have a coach," says May. "I wanted us to just keep practicing in the summer. That way we didn't lose anything. We had a really great year this season, so I just wanted to keep the guys together and get ready for next year."
That's why May took it upon himself to gather up his teammates to play summer league basketball.
If you want to make the playoffs, you have to get in the gym and practice. That's exactly what this team has done.
"They were all for it. It's hard in the summer to get everyone to come, but they've been very committed," says May. "It's been showing in the games. We've improved every week. It's been a great 100% effort from everyone."
"We just wanted to get better as a team, get better chemistry," says Mize. "It's just important to get in the gym everyday to keep in form and in shape on your skills."
The guys have shown improvement each week.
Now, the void is filled. David Ellis was hired to lead the program earlier in the summer. As you may expect, he loved what he heard his players did.
"He was excited," says May. "We have the chemistry down, so now he just has to implement his offense and defense and we can roll with that. So he was really excited."