I want to address an elephant in the room that I came across tonight when Brandon & I got home…

gloat [gloht]

verb (used without object): 1. to look at or think about with great or excessive, often smug or malicious, satisfaction: The opposing team gloated over our bad luck.

noun: 2. an act or feeling of gloating.

You can gloat for the rest of the year. You can have your State Championship shirts, you can have your gold medals, your trophies. That’s fine. The better teams won that weekend. Elite teams are “elite” because they play the higher level tournaments. It’s not due to privilege, it’s not because it costs more and some parents have endless bankrolls. Uniforms weren’t a huge cost.

Yes, it costs more. I work to pay a balance due so that my son can play top talent in New England. Not 8 times a year in Saco, Maine where it can be diluted. Talent, yes. Top notch, no.

Those kids on the “elite” teams that my son plays on are just like the kids from the surrounding towns. They put their pants on the same way. There is no “elitism”.

They are from better programs. Some are from similar programs that promote favoritism and politics. Which is what my son came across this past varsity season. Give a kid that hasn’t played for 4 years the spot over kid (not just mine) that worked hard over those four years to get where they were.

Brandon chose to go elsewhere. Not because he is LaMelo Ball, not because I’ve been compared to Lavar Ball. I do not think he is Jesus Christ, incarnate, savior of Kennett Boys basketball, but apparently there was a kid whom the head coach thought would be this past season. You don’t sit a 6′ 8″ kid no matter whose kid he is, you WORK WITH HIM TO DEVELOP HIM TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND TO BE COMPETITIVE.

“One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.”– Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

It’s not a “we want to win” program, it’s a glorified recreation department program at this HS. My kid wants to win. Not run “Ohio”, 7 times in a row so that the defense figures out the play and can telegraph it via the Berlin game. I used to hear that name called out in my sleep.

When you shut a kid down that worked hard, who was better than “the chosen one”, that kid gets a resentment. I don’t blame him. A kid that wants to go to the next level, that isn’t a favorite, that has to work double as much as the hand picked few.

Skills have gotten vastly better, the Motion offense system fits a big man more than that of a guard-oriented Princeton offense. There remains the fact there is a long way to go and when a kid wants to progress to the next level, you find him the coaching he needs. He gets the 1-on-1 time, he gets the coaching of his position that he needs. Not just Mikan drills for 10 minutes per practice.

Some folks may not understand that I take offense to a coach of some 40+ years take a kid, plant him on the end of the bench, watch his team get annihilated nightly, complain about not having anyone crashing the boards, complain about getting out-rebounded, but yet have no faith in the kids that are 6’5″ and 6’8″ that can play.

I’ve been around the game just as long and I’m not an idiot. When you run a system such as what was run during the high school season, there will be dissension in the ranks.

I don’t know why my son, the tallest kid in the school does not play more than he did when parents know he can play. Don’t build a kid up to knock him down, build him up and keep building him. NO MATTER WHO IT IS.

You will NOT be the force that makes my kid give up the game. You will not coach him ever again and you’re all fine with that. Good. You all beat a team my son plays on. Your boys earned it. The better teams won.

Have some class though. T-shirts are terrific. It proves nothing when you gloat about being “non-elite”. X and Y variables tossed to the side, injuries to key players not used as excuses and those kids that sat on the Spartans bench knew that as I listened intently as the coach talked to them.

The Spartans teams got back to work and put the NH State Championships behind them. Yes, scouts go to the tournaments they play in, those tournaments do exist. It bothers me that these kids, who are just ordinary kids, are being judged.

My son, will not play for a coach, that wants to stunt a players growth in the game. period. End of story. He will not play in the same system either. That, is a 15-year-old kid deciding that. Not “the Lavar Ball of the MWV”.

I couldn’t care less what parents think of me. I don’t care. It isn’t any of my business. My business is taking a kid that wants to be a pro ball player and see if he can make that dream come true. If not, he wants to fall back on something in the field of sports. He has that backup plan in place. Smart for a 15-year-old.

I’m not letting a coach that went 4-14, take a kid with promise, determination, and drive and leave him on a bench. A bench mind you, that when routinely being destroyed by 20+ points, were rising up when a 3-point shot was made, throwing up the goggles.

No control, do discipline. I told my kid, “you do not do that. You sit, you watch the game, you wait to hear your name.”

He hardly heard his name.

So he will not be playing ball for Kennett High School next year. He will focus on school. He will focus more on the grades and will play ball next year for the Spartans again.

The Eagles teams deserve praise for their wins, and a job well done. The coaches and parents as well. But flashing t-shirts with “non-elite” on them is as overboard and petty. I’m glad the 500 people that read the CDS were able to see that the teams fared well in the state tournament.

My son deserves a better coach than one that suggests to “be more aggressive” one week, “be more physical” another, “shoot the ball” the next, yet tells an official at the high school level that “he has no faith in his big men”. That, is the straw that breaks the camels back.

The kids on the Spartans get shirts as well. When they win tournaments. Brandon has gotten a good amount of those shirts. It happens when you win any tournament. “Elite” or not.

I could go into the fact that, the Eagle teams could go play where the Spartans play and be absolutely destroyed by some of the teams that I have seen at these tournaments, it would mirror the KHS HS season.

I could go into the fact that a coach should stick with coaching the 8th grade teams and leave the varsity team to a coach that wants to run the ball because those kids are miles better when they are running the ball rather than playing what I call, “Peach Basket” basketball.

I could ask that the school change its name from “Eagles” to “Beatles” since the Fab 5 out on the floor are hand-picked favorites. I don’t, but I think you get the point I’m making…

Have a little respect. Move on to your last Burlington tournament, have a great time, I hope the kids win their shirts, maple syrup, and have a great time as we did over there last season. Brandon and I will be rooting for the Eagles from CT, and wishing you all well.

Yes, I will be at a tournament in Connecticut with a whole bunch of scouts walking around, college, prep school, and even NBA I am told. So what? they can talk to me about Brandon if they so choose. My kid doesn’t have a $495 shoe coming out and we do not think our shit doesn’t stink.

You won the 10th grade states. Congratulation. Show some class. It’s not about “Elite” or “Non-Elite” it’s about a talented group of kids that outplayed a talented group of kids from the Spartans. If this is your NBA Finals Championship moment, then more power to you. I’m happy for each team.

I’m going to see to it my kid gets as close as he can to his dream and achieve it and not have a coach step all over that and shit on it. Over my dead body, will someone tell my kid he is not good enough, or in a preseason meeting inform parents “I cut a kid that played for the Oakland A’s”. Well congratulations coach, oranges and apples.

Kennett Boys Basketball, good luck in your future endeavors. Brandon Libby will not be back next season. You’ve improved without him, congratulations. A kid that all he wants to do is play basketball and some people want to piss all over his endeavors.

Congratulations on those great “non-elite” t-shirts as well. What point it proves, I don’t know. I do hope, we see you next year, because I know for one kid, that’s on his calendar and he is working relentlessly towards that date already. I can tell by the look in his eyes when we discuss it.

We have a weekend of basketball to look forward to. I’ll be in the stands rooting for my kid, his team, and hope he has fun playing and works to get his game better. Do I brag, oh yeah I do. Because the coaching he has received has made him MUCH improved and he still has a long way to go.

So, no, I do not think he is the next Durant, LBJ, or KG… he is Brandon Libby, a kid that just wants to play ball. I’m sure his replacement will be fresh out of the Rec circuit and will fill in nicely.

Like I said, I’m going to help my kid go as far as he can and not have some coach shit all over him telling him one thing then another, then another.

Congrats on the shirts. Maybe they should be green, for the color of envy, if you wish a team of kids that is very talented like the Spartans are “elite”. Regular kids getting shit on. It was a game to remember. My son played on the Spartans. There was a lot of talk. They played great, the better teams won.

It just couldn’t be left at that. The “big dig”… your “non-elite” shirts are an embarrassment.

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