Parents and players, Union summer hoops for next year’s 9th-12th-grade students will be here sooner than we know it. Per the WIAA we are allowed to practice starting Memorial Day, May 27th.
Summer basketball is a great opportunity for us to start the process of becoming a team and developing players. June is a busy time with other sports and school as well. The football, baseball, and other sport’s coaches support each other our multiple sport athletes. We have worked our schedules as much as we can so an athlete can be a part of both summer programs. We have had many athletes do it in the past and has worked out well. If an athlete makes a team and can make 50% or more on the calendar, that is great as we understand all the different commitments out there. However, the more time a player puts in, the more they will get out of it.
Unfortunately, we are not able to keep all players who desire to be on the summer travel teams. High school basketball is extremely competitive and at Union, where we have been one of the most successful programs in the state of Washington, it is even more competitive than other places. As students get older, it becomes tougher and tougher to make the teams. However, it’s that competitiveness that drives our players and teams to excel on the court. We wish we could keep everyone but sadly, that is not an option.
There will be three summer teams. Our objectives for summer are: 1) start the foundation of becoming a close team. 2) Get players on the court so they can grow their game and improve. We want our players who make a team to play a lot. It is not equal playing time by any means but we do want each kid to develop. Because of this, we do not have as large of rosters as in the season. Summer games are typically shorter and there are travel/ space limitations. Returning varsity players will play on the Union 1 team and occasionally some other players will play on that team throughout the summer. The next group of players based on skill and needs at the positions will be the Union 2 team, who will play a JV schedule. The last group is the Union 3 team. The Union 3 team will consist of next year’s incoming freshmen with potentially some of next year’s sophomores who we think would benefit from playing on this team. Between our C-Team (current 9th graders) last year and incoming 9th graders (8th graders now) we will keep around 9-11 players for the Union 3 team. If an incoming 9th grader or 10th grader is a good fit on the Union 1 or 2 summer team then we will place them accordingly. Last year, we had 28 total players as a part of the summer program.
I want to bring attention to the fact that we had players not make the summer team last year who did make a team in November. A lot can change from June to November and there is no bearing whatsoever on making the summer team and making the team in the winter. We have had kids who didn’t play at all in summer and were big varsity contributors and we’ve had kids play in the summer and not make the team in the school year. Our job as coaches is to constantly evaluate and reevaluate our players and teams.
A schedule will be sent out as soon as we solidify it. Our summer schedule includes practices 4 days a week (Mondays off except Memorial Day) and tournaments on weekends (all local except for varsity). We will also be going to the University of Oregon Team Camp the last weekend of June to cap off our summer. Please let me know if there are any questions. Thanks and GO TITANS!