In the place of what would be State Finals week here in Indiana, Outside the Huddle reached out to a handful of area senior boys basketball players. Each of these players is from one of the 6 area teams that was still alive as a Sectional champion when the remainder of the tournament was cancelled. We asked them to tell us, in their own words, what they’d do different if they could go back to the start of their varsity careers, reminisce about their legacy and discuss the unusual close to their season and high school career. This is one such story:
IF I COULD GO BACK
If I could go back and tell myself anything as a first time varsity player, it would be to work as hard as I can and not take any days off. I would tell myself to not get discouraged and down from having one bad game. I would tell myself to go hard in practice just as I would in a game. I would challenge myself everyday to be the best version of myself and a teammate as I can be. I would also tell myself to stay positive and trust the process.
My sophomore year, we only won six games and we lost in the first game of Sectionals. My junior year, we won 15 games and lost in the first game of sectionals again! This year, as a senior, we won 19 games, finished second in the SAC and won a Sectional championship! So, trusting the process would definitely be the biggest thing I’d say to myself as first time player .
The legacy I hope that I left was a winning legacy. I wasn’t the biggest guy out there or the strongest or most talented, so I used that to fuel me to work hard and want it more than everyone else. I hope people will look back and remember me as the guy who did all of the little things necessary to win, like diving on the floor for loose balls, going in and rebounding over a guy twice my size and being a great leader to my teammates. I want to be remembered as the guy who went out and did whatever it takes to win.
Well, the legacy I think me and my fellow seniors left was resiliency. We faced so much adversity and difficulty, but yet we always overcame. We defied the odds so many times and made people believe in us. We brought a vibe that was so [solid], we brought a winning tradition back and showed what a true brotherhood looks like. We broke down everything with “together” and together is how strong we are as a team and it showed.
HOW IT ENDED
I’m happy that me and my guys went out as Sectionals champs because all of our hard work finally payed off. We had so many chances over the last four years to win championships, but we always came up short. So to finally win one and get the burden off of our shoulders feels so good. However, along with that came sadness because our season ended due to bad circumstances. Knowing that this was my last time ever playing high school basketball is so sad because we had a chance to compete for a state championship if we won three more games. I hate that our season got taken away from us because it honestly hurts my heart so much and my emotions have been all over the place. But, I guess everything happens for a reason.
WHAT DOES SNIDER BASKETBALL MEAN TO ME?
Snider basketball is togetherness. Snider basketball is a brotherhood and a family to me that will last for a lifetime. Being with the same group of seniors for four years and coaches has allowed me to get to know all of them personally and we built memories and friendships that will last me for the rest of my life. Combining all of those different personalities and meshing them was such a blessing. It was a great four years with my guys and we will go down in the history books at Snider High School forever! From the bottom of my heart, thank you Snider basketball.
– Jayshawn Underwood, Snider Class of 2020