Seasoned coaches will organize out of town tournaments for their players like business trips and they should never lose their focus on the main goal, winning.
Effingham County boys’ basketball coach Jake Darling saw a larger image of his rebels during the three-day Big Blue Classic at Model High School in Rome, Georgia.
Darling is happy his team started with a 58-41 victory over Central-Carrollton in the holiday round robin on December 28, but he hopes to get more from the trip than three out-of-region wins before it rings in the New Year. .
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âNow is the time for us to bond as a team,â said Darling. âI always wanted to bring the team here, just to go out and see (the styles of basketball) from different schools. We want to show (to our players) that there is more than Effingham and Savannah.
Two years ago, Darling and the Rebels capitalized on holiday success at the much-loved Kreul Classic in Coral Springs, Florida. ECHS had won just eight games the previous season, but spurred on by a final appearance in Florida, the suddenly confident Rebels scored 17 wins.
This trip to Rome mixes competitive basketball with intangible goods.
And for Darling, it’s a throwback to a field he knows well. He played college basketball at nearby Berry College. He met his wife Hannah here and the Darling family often visit the in-laws here.
It’s also a homecoming for Rebels assistant Ryan McGee, who played football in Berry.
Darling called the basketball trip “breaking down the walls” just before taking the players on a tour of the Berry on Wednesday.
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âI’m not just Mr. Darling, the basketball teacher and coach at Effingham County High School,â he said. â(The Rome region) is part of my basketball life and that’s where I got the knowledge that I rely on. They will have the chance to see that. And they will see that there is other things in life besides basketball.
ECHS’s basketball vacation began with an NBA game between host Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls on Monday.
It was time for the Rebels to turn to basketball with tournament games Dec. 28-30, but the Rebels are making the most of their free time with a lively NBA 2K tournament video game competition in their bedrooms. ‘hotel.
This is the second ECHS basketball trip of the season. The Rebels traveled to Norcross for a three-game opener of the season over Thanksgiving week.
Over the summer, the team went camping at Mercer University.
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Traveling costs money, of course. Darling has set up a board of directors for his team and within the board there is a fundraising committee. Darling said players raised funds by selling Chick-fil-A chicken cookies in the school cafeteria every Wednesday.
Hawks tickets have been offered.
But the experience outweighs the costs.
âThere are practices and games but what you’ll remember most about basketball when it’s all said and done are your teammates, your outings, your travels,â said Darling.