A hardwood conversation to have

Posted at 11:56 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 15:22:37-04

"I think the whole keyword of this call is 'togetherness,' so I hope and pray for that," Cheyenne Mountain girls basketball coach Kimberly Spellman said.

There are few places where those of all backgrounds can come together in unity, like a basketball court.

"That's one thing I enjoy most as a coach is bringing all the different races together for one common goal," Rampart boys basketball coach J'on St. Clair said.

For many local coaches, these are difficult times to navigate but their mission remains the same: To empower their players by letting them find their own voice and become the best version of themselves.

"I'm very cognizant of making sure I don't project maybe my beliefs, but my players know their coaches are there for them," Falcon girls basketball coach Tarike Adams said.

"Letting them know that their voice matters and it's not the time to wait until school starts back up to really be out there and have that confidence to stand up for what is right or wrong," Spellman said.

Whether it's pre-practice messages or team dinners, each has its own way of building a cohesive unit. However, every coach agrees in this climate, that need for growth is as vital as ever.

"Something we talk about every day as far as trying to be a better citizen," St. Clair said.

"I know the excitement about being back out there and in the gym is huge right now," Falcon boys basketball coach Donald Wood said. "Looking forward to that and seeing some smiling faces."

As parents, many agree coaching starts at home and while their doors are always open, this generation seems to know the ball is in their court.

"We will come out better on the other side as a society as a whole, these younger folks are really stepping up and it's a proud moment," Adams said.

"Seeing them change and watching them use their phones for a better reason, made me grow a lot, and appreciate the younger generation as well," Wood said.

While local teams slowly return to the basketball courts amid the COVID-19 pandemic, right now those on the bench take stock in all that is happening off of it.

"Change is already happening, it's going to take place, it's going to take some time," St. Clair said. "Still, every day we have change is going to be a better day in the United State of America."