Checked in with the Mountain Pointe boys basketball team today as new coach Hosea Graham tries to put his identity on the program before the Pride plays at Grand Canyon this weekend.
While I’ve talked to Graham a few times on the phone, it was the first time shaking the man’s hand and it is clear he has a presences about him and I understand why the players gravitate toward him.
We had about a 20 minute interview for a story that will come out next week and we touched on so many subjects, but the one that caught my attention was how he lets players play through mistakes to a certain extent.
He doesn’t want his them playing scared, which leads to them playing tight, or looking over their shoulder each time they make a mistake expecting to be pulled and placed on the bench.
I’ve never played a second of organized basketball, well there was one semester of being on a intramural team in college, but seen plenty of games to know when a player throws an errant pass or takes a wild shot a lot of times the coach gives him an earful as they walk past them toward the bench.
You can almost always see the kid shutdown right then and there. If they are not playing with confidence, free and easy with the trust of the coach it is not going to work out well for the player or the team.
It’s just my two cents, but I totally agree with that approach.
The other intriguing thing I came across was the fact that his varsity assistant is former Desert Vista boys coach Doug Harris, who just happens to be Graham’s brother in-law as the two basketball men are married to sisters.
Harris led the Thunder to their first state boys basketball championship in 2008 after qualifying for the playoffs under Harris from 2004 through that season.
Harris also led Desert Vista to a title game in 2004 when the Thunder lost to Mesa, and reached the semifinals in 2006 and 2007.
Desert Vista was 11-15 and 8-17 following the championship season and was let go.
While he has coached club ball since, this is the first time Harris is back at the high school level.
“We’ve been watching tape, and talking about what needs to be done before the season since I was hired,” Graham said. “I told him before I interviewed that if I got hired, he had to come with me because his ideas and skills set as a coach is something we had needed.”
Here is the schedule for the tournament at GCU starting Thursday:
MP vs. Maryvale, Rec Center #2, 9 a.m.
Desert Vista #1 vs. Fountain Hills #1, Rec Center #2, 10 a.m.
DV #2 vs. MP #2, Rec Center #3, 10 a.m.
MP #1 vs. Sierra Linda, Arena, noon
DV #1 vs. Chaparral, Arena, 1 p.m.
MP #2 vs. Northwest Christian, Rec Center #3, 1 p.m.
DV #2 vs. Fountain Hills #2, Arena, 2 p.m.
MP #1 vs. Cactus Shadows, Rec Center #1, 3 p.m.
DV #1 vs. North Canyon, Rec Center #2, 4 p.m.
MP #1 vs. North Canyon, Rec Center #1, 9 a.m.
MP #2 vs. Grand Canyon, Arena, 11 a.m.
DV #1 vs. Basha, Rec Center #3, 11 a.m.
DV #2 vs. Willcox, Rec Center #2, noon
MP #1 vs. Chaparral, Rec Center #1, 1 p.m.
MP #2 vs. Alahambra, Rec Center #1, 2 p.m.
DV #2 vs. Grand Canyon, Rec Center #1, 3 p.m.
DV #1 vs. Westview, Arena, 4 p.m.
Day three is based on record and seeding after competition is completed the first two days
Action starts at 9 a.m. with title game at 3 p.m.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.