The boys are back!

A state championship is not the end of this story

Nassir Price, Staff Writer

It was a bittersweet moment to see the boys basketball team accomplish their biggest goal of the year last season. The last time we saw our boys basketball team they were basking in the glory of an inspiring season.

Now they are back to work.

Most of the team was led by experienced seniors who were determined to finish off their high school career with a moment they would never forget. It took all of the players together to make it all happen. Without chemistry and knowledge, the team wouldn’t have been as dominant as they were that season.

This year’s story will be different. Gone are five seniors who were the heart and soul of that championship run.  Although their leadership was a big reason why they won state, the knowledge that was passed down to the younger players was key. The seniors this year will now have to step in and be responsible for transferring the basketball intelligence.

Leading the way this year is 6-foot-6 senior Aaron Henry, who just last week signed to play at Michigan State. Henry led the team in scoring last year at 14.2 points a game and is considered one of the top seniors in the state. Another key returnee is junior Jalen Windham, a 6-foot-4 sharp-shooter who was the leading scorer in the state championship win over Fort Wayne North.

One thing the team learned last year is that every game matters in a season. Games earlier on in the season are used to find out what needs to be done to be prepared for the sectionals. It took a lot of determination going into the tough competition towards the end of the regular season.

This year’s squad is scheduled to start Nov. 21 at home against Franklin Central, a game that will include a ring ceremony for last year’s team. That game and the Nov. 25 game at Northwest could be rescheduled depending on what happens in tonight’s football game.

Mark James and Kyle Ballard, head varsity coach and assistant varsity coach, have been working extensively hard to get the boys ready to get back into action. Players returning from the championship team last year know what it takes to repeat that kind of season.

Coach James was proud to see the young talent accomplish a goal that would be remembered forever. There were a lot of obstacles that the coaching staff had to face but they showed that leadership is key to making it far.

Every offseason our goal is for our players to get stronger in the weight room, become better shooters, and improve their skills. Now that the season has started we’ll get a chance to find out how much we really accomplished,” Ballard said.

This years team should be fun to watch. A fast-paced offense has always been a good way for young players to get into a rhythm. Speed has always been a key for a Giants basketball system. Everyone on the team is hungry to bring another state championship home.

“Last season success taught me that if we could do it this past year we can do it this year. We had a couple bad games last year but we stayed focus and on top of our game,” Windham said.

The mood for the season will be for the players to ultimately better themselves on and off the court. Every game will be another journey for the players, staff, and fans to enjoy Ben Davis basketball.