Local schools benefit from playing new teams at playdate

Published 8:09 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2015

By Derek Thompson

The Selma Times-Journal

The Saints will host 15 other basketball programs to help players and coaches get ready for the fall during their third annual summer basketball playdate at Selma High School and Wallace Community College Selma on June 2.

Among the teams will be 7A state champion Hoover and nine Alabama High School Athletic Association playoff teams.

“It brings more variety instead of just having to play the same schools here or in the county,” said Selma head coach Woodie Jackson. “It’s the first time in history that Hoover High has been here to play anything.”

Jackson said adding the playdate to the rest of the Saints’ summer workload will benefit his team in the fall.

“We are in a very tough area playing in 6A,” Jackson said.

“Summer is different than the fall. You have to have some dedication to the program. If you don’t work individually and as a team you present that possibility of losing, so it’s very beneficial to be doing what you are supposed to during the summer.”

Southside head coach Cedric Brown says the playdate will allow a mixture of different areas and playing styles to compete before the season starts.

“It’s good because we don’t get a chance to play those teams until we make it to the regions usually,” Brown said.

“It’s good to go ahead and get a chance to play those style of teams early.”

The Panthers, who will host a 10-team playdate of ther own on June 9 at 9 a.m., had their first spring practice last Friday and will practice building team chemistry at the playdate, Brown said.

“We’re trying to get to know one another better,” Brown said.

“We have some young guys as well as veterans. They are pretty much picking up on new things and brushing up on some of those old skills and fundamentals. We’ll be practicing all this week getting ready for next week.”

With several players competing for roster spots, Keith head coach Tommy Tisdale said the playdate will give his players an opportunity to compete with other solid basketball programs.

“A lot of the teams are rich traditionally,”Tisdale said.

“We’d like to think that we are one traditionally as well so it will be a good matchup in that sense.”

Tisdale scheduled four playdates for the Bears and hopes only to have gotten better when they finish their last one at the University of Alabama near the end of the summer.

“I just look for our kids to come out and compete hard,” Tisdale said.

“We plan on carrying a roster in the fall of maybe 12 guys. I got some younger kids that wanted to get in and compete with their upperclassmen for positions. I tell them everyday that everything is open with us.”

Tisdale also said he is happy with the motivation and leadership he has seen from his team as they wrap up spring practice and get ready for the playdate.

“The returning guys are making sure everybody is on time and upbeat,” Tisdale said. “The excitement never left so it is definitely there. We got a few veteran faces so we got some guys we can expect things out of. There’s nothing on the line so it gives us an opportunity to play some new guys. It’s definitely not about wins or losses. It’s about what you can build on going into the next competition date.”