Loudoun Triple Threat Tryouts Comes Down to Teamwork
Twenty-three boys hustled for ten spots on the winning 7th grade travel basketball team, on Sunday.
It is all about teamwork for head coach Steve Coffman of the Loudoun Triple Threat basketball team, which held tryouts for 7th grade boys wanting to join the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) travel team on Sunday, September 18 at the Douglass School and Community Center.
During the tryout boys hustled up and down the court in small groupings. The teams played full court in short sessions, which lasted only until one player made a basket at which time the non-scoring team exited the court.
The quick turnaround forced the boys to think on their feet, covering, dribbling and passing. The tryout mirrored the fast-paced conditions of the game, where quick reaction time and the ability to function as a team, triumphed jump shots and individual talent.
“Teamwork and chemistry before ability,” said Coffman. “I’m looking for how they do in the team concept: pass, cut out with the ball and defend. You have to have heart, you have to work hard and have court awareness.”
Coffman, who played professional basketball in Europe, said he can identify a skilled player in about two minutes, but values a dedicated team player over an athlete with fancy moves. Coffman said he would rather see players who can intuitively work together.
Coffman added that he is going to have a difficult decision to make, having 23 boys tryout on Sunday for a team that can only accept two to three new players. Eight players from the previous year are pretty much ensured a spot, he said, since the Triple Threat made it all the way to AAU Nationals in Hampton, Virginia this past July.
However, Coffman hopes the boys who do not make the team, understand it is fierce nature of the competition and not to interpret it as failure.
“Michael Jordan got cut as a sophomore in high school,” Coffman told the boys. “Not making the team should not be the end of anyone’s basketball careers.”
Unfortunately, the team hopefuls will have to wait until September 25 to see if they make the team, during a second tryout, in which they will have another opportunity to display their prowess on the court.
If they make the team, they will have to commit to practicing twice a week, for one and half hours, while traveling all over Virginia, D.C., Maryland and West Virginia for 50 to 60 games held every other weekend.
Returning player, Johnny Jordan understands this level of commitment. He said he enjoys basketball and hopes to continue to play throughout middle and high school.
“It’s fun. It gets you in shape and you get to meet some really nice people,” Jordan said.
Teammate Alex Nemer agreed. “I’ve been playing basketball for five years. It’s my favorite sport.”
Nemer said he especially enjoys the fast moving nature of the game, including, “the interactivity, going up and down the court.”
Regardless of who makes the team it seems the Loudoun Triple Threat will live up to its name again this year. These athletes might not be seven feet tall, but boy, can they hustle.