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, I’d probably tell my younger, inexperienced self to enjoy each class. Being a four year varsity player, I’ve been able to play with a bunch of great guys. Each of which offered something unique to the program. Sadly, you’re only fortunate enough to get a year or two with these guys. So I’d tell my freshman self to chat it up with these guys more often, learn all that you can from them and enjoy every second you get with them on the court.
After four years of playing at the varsity level, I hope the legacy I leave behind is one of hard work, unselfishness and always playing hard. Always working hard in every situation, whether it be training during the offseason, working out in the weight room or just everyday at practice. Unselfishness by playing team basketball, knowing that there will be games where you might do well and also games where your teammate plays phenomenally while you had an off night; yet you can still forget about your performance and truly be happy for them. Finally, always playing hard in every game. Never taking plays off or, if you’re in the situation where the team you’re playing against has more talent, doing those little things and outworking them to win.
I hope the younger guys I’ve been able to play with this past season continue that mindset and implement it for future classes to learn. I also hope the platform to which I was blessed with during my career allowed me to inspire the younger generation of players. If they take anything away from looking up to me over the years, I hope it’s that your level of talent doesn’t decide your level of success, but it is your work ethic that determines how far you can go.
HOW IT ENDED
It’s a bittersweet feeling to go out the way we did. Not many teams get to end their season with a win, but not knowing all we could’ve accomplished is a tough feeling. Everything we’ve accomplished thus far has been icing on the cake, but personally I feel like the tournament is the greatest test to determine how good you really are. So it’s hard to feel content with the season without getting a chance to prove yourself in March.
It’s a strange feeling to suddenly have your season end, without getting to really say goodbye or getting that sense of closure. However, when you stop and look around at all the athletes that never even got the chance to start their senior seasons, it really puts things into perspective. My heart aches for them because I know how much I looked forward to my senior year. All the hopes and goals they had that they’ll never get the opportunity to live out or achieve, it would be devastating. Just thinking of their situation allows me to be thankful for everything God allowed us.
WHAT DOES NORWELL BASKETBALL MEAN TO ME?
When I think back on all my years of playing, all the games, through all the wins and losses at Norwell, I think of the community. From my freshman year – which was the first year of rebuilding with a new coach – to my senior – which has been one of the most successful years we’ve had in a long time – the community has always been there. Close to every game, our home bleachers were filled and sometimes more. While a lot of families of players showed up, a majority of the fans are composed of families of past Norwell graduates, friends and neighbors and community members who have a passion for basketball and a love for Northern Wells.
But no matter who they are, they are some of the most supportive and dedicated fans I have ever had the privilege of playing in front of. I am grateful for every moment.
– Will Geiger, Norwell Class of 2020