Two teams, five players each, meet on the court to play a game that they are passionate about, a game that shows the dedication, commitment, and devotion of a true athlete. Several Shawano High School basketball players know this feeling all too well.
Senior Atty Wagner has been in basketball since seventh grade. Wagner revealed that he prefers to spend most of his free time practicing because it is fun and he really enjoys it.
He expressed that the reason he enjoys basketball so much is simply because he “likes being around everybody and being able to win as a team.”
Wagner stated that he is a valuable player because “I don’t need to be the team’s leading scorer. I know my role. I am going to congratulate everybody else. It’s not all about me. It is not my team. It is everyone’s team.”
When discussing how he could become a better player, Wagner mentioned that the best way he can do this is by “putting in more work by getting in the weight room, and trusting what the coaches are telling me to do.”
The goal Wagner set for himself this year is “do whatever I need to do to help the team win.” Setting goals is very beneficial and is one of the most important skills taught to athletes because it helps one stay motivated, focused and organized which will lead to success.
Wagner stated,“To be successful you need a purpose. You can’t keep going not knowing what you’re working for.”
The basketball coach for SCHS had the players sit down in the LGI to watch a game films, then discuss what the team could do to be better and set goals as a team. Wagner explained these goals to be building trust, better communication, and getting to state.
He feels that they should be able to “get to the point where we can do anything and know that our other teammates have our backs.”
Junior Ryan Tucker, who has been in basketball since third grade, stated that basketball is also a big part of his life because all his close family either is or was in the sport.
Tucker sees himself as a valuable player because of his experience in the sport. He explained that his goal for himself this year is to practice even more on his own.
When Tucker looks at his team he sees “a bunch of guys who love the sport and wanna have fun.”
Tucker also added how he sees his team as “family because of how close we all are.”
Students on the SCHS basketball team are able to look at their team and say positive things, showing that they really do see each other as a family.
Wagner also stated that when he looks at his team he sees a lot of potential.
Wagner explained how his team goes by the saying “why not us?” which means, “Why can’t we be successful? Why can’t we be the team that goes to state? We have the talent, we have the players, we have the coaches, we have everything we need, so why not us?”
Each player brings skill, personality and a role to the team, just like a family, so when a team connects and creates a strong bond as a whole, the only question they need to ask themselves is “why not us?”