While the first games of the 2017-2018 high school basketball season are still six months away, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks are already getting ready by running drills, participating in summer games and building a bond that Coach Nalin Sood hopes will translate to another successful year on the court.
This week Terrace varsity, junior varsity and incoming ninth graders to the Hawk basketball program began what will be two months of team practices, summer league games and weekend tournaments.
It’s a stretch of basketball that Sood believes will benefit the Hawk hoopsters in a number of ways.
“First and foremost we want to build a trust and confidence in each other,” Sood explained. “Next December, when the season rolls around, we want our players to look their teammates in the eye and know that there is no one else they want to go and compete with.”
“Secondly, we want to improve our team chemistry on and off the court,” Sood continued. “Learning to play with and off each other so that we are five players on the court but operating as one.”
“Lastly, and most importantly, we want to find the balance of challenging and pushing our guys to be their best and reach their potential while also having fun at mastering their craft,” Sood concluded.
The players are busy in June with games against other schools in a summer league that has been run at Mountlake Terrace High School for 12 years. With the addition of participation in a few weekend tournaments, the Terrace varsity team will play 30-35 games during the month.
July will bring individual skill development workouts three days-a-week for the Hawks. “This is for all members of our basketball program to simply come to the gym and continue to develop their individual skills while also doing basketball conditioning,” Sood said.
While two months of physical excursion inside a hot gym – and during a time of year that many may prefer to be outside – may seem daunting, Sood emphasized one more goal he has for Terrace summer basketball.
“It has to be fun for the player and it has to be fun for the coaches,” Sood said.
–By Doug Petrowski