Photo by Aaron Meliza
Caption: Coach Brady makes ball dribbling seem effortless while chatting with athletes on the sidelines
By Sara Rutherford
Typically around this time of year, Men’s Head Basketball Coach Donald Brady and his staff are heading out to local tournaments throughout Washington, hoping to find SCC’s newest on-court stars.
But this year, Brady and his three assistant coaches can be found in their home gym, posted at their desks or on the court supervising open gym.
On this particular afternoon, music streams from one of Brady’s two computer monitors – the same monitors that, at this time of year, would normally be filled with names, stats and high school game tapes of potential recruits. Instead, Brady sits leisurely at his desk where he manages the duties of Head Basketball Coach, as well as SCC Athletic Facilities Manager and Events Coordinator.
Down the hall, Third Assistant Coach Antonio Foster can be spotted joking around with students while managing the weight room.
With just two unreleased names that Brady says will be “signing with us next week,” the coaches, whose recruiting season usually runs into the summer, are already done for the 2016-2017 roster.
This year the Dolphins had just three graduating sophomores and one of the highest freshman-to-sophomore ratios in the NWAC, leaving little space on the official 12-player travel team roster for recruiting. Even with Brady’s ideal practice squad of 12-15 players there are already more than enough men ready to fill the slots.
Brady says it’s important to keep additional players in the gym.
“[Last year] we had a lot of bad luck, we had multiple guys get injured and bad grades,” Brady says. “Something will happen.”
This year, however, no matter the grade or injury situation, Brady will have more than enough seasoned players.
Hopefuls and current players may even feel two new players are too many. If all nine of the current freshman remain academically eligible – by maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA and taking a minimum of 12 credits – then only one official roster spot will be left to fill.
Add on the current five redshirt freshman from this past season and there is sure to be tough competition at fall tryouts. So, while the coaches are able to relax a little more than usual this time of year, the intensity for players in the weight room and at open gym has risen.
Assistant Coach Foster’s message to prospective players reflects this intensity: “If you’re not working on your game, then you won’t be here.”