Anyone that talks about being on a sports team usually end up describing their teammates as a “family.” From this, athletes go on to talk about how their team is a tight-knit group of people who always get along. I think that this claim doesn’t fully apply to the Men’s Basketball team at Pacific Lutheran University.
Yes, having played basketball with the same people for more than eight months out of the year, naturally our team has become close. But, if anyone knows anything about being around people for long periods of time, there will be fights, because,in families family members will fight.
If someone came to an open gym or practice and watched the men’s basketball team play, that person would realize that our team is nasty group of individuals; in a good way of course.
Our team is tough. We’ll push and shove to win a loose ball. We’ll fight and bicker over calls that don’t mean a whole lot in the long run. We’ll get on someone’s case for taking a bad shot or for not boxing out.
`We’ll retaliate when someone gives someone else a cheap shot. We’ll give someone a cheap shot.
Why do we do this? We want to win.
Sometimes, in sports, it is not about getting along. It’s about the end result: winning. It’s more than getting along or acting like it’s all sunshine and rainbows; it’s the desire to compete at the highest level possible far which exceeds the need to get along.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re the one of the most fun groups of guys off the court. We love to have fun and do team-bonding activities, but once we step out on the court, it’s a different ball game.
One of the themes that our coach Steve Dickerson has instilled in us is “embrace the grind.” As a team we take pride as a group in our ability to embrace the hardship that goes along with being a successful team. I could not be happier about our team this year.
Since summer league started, our first-year players have shown that they will be able to contribute to the team. Our veterans have all improved over the summer and are ready to lead the team in whatever ways necessary so that we can win.
This upcoming season, we believe we have all the pieces to be an elite team in the Northwest Conference.
I think we have the talent and even more importantly the toughness, it takes to endure a successful long season. Being on the basketball team, I can say that honestly and proudly we are a family, but not the type of family other athletes usually refer to.
We are not a perfect family but a working family that will always strive to be the best people possible and the best basketball team on any court. ◼︎