The Hustle

It’s seems simple, doesn’t it? Make a run, call the play,shoot the ball,make it in the hoop,score the point. Nothing is as easy as it looks. Rarely do we ever get a peek behind the footwork required for that moment, when the ball moves through the hoop, it only lasts a fraction of a second, but its the most vital moment of the game.

This blog is called “The Hustle,” I intend to document just that; everything the audience doesn’t see, everything that builds up to that very moment. The footwork, the communication, calling the plays, passing the ball running the court. It’s amazing how much work is required for just one of these techniques displayed on the court. All for one point. All for one score. One game. The team has to work like a well-oiled machine. The team has to build chemistry, know each other, how they play, how they move. It’s a sight to see, and I will be hosting the show.

My name is Emerald Wright-Collie, this will be my second season covering the Allegheny College men’s basketball team. After a productive season last year with the team I decided to cover the team on a weekly basis. My first night of practice was October 23rd 2014, this is the team’s second week of practice for the season.

I walked onto the court at 9:00 p.m ready to be a fly on the wall. After just a few minutes, I found myself mesmerized by the runs, the plays, the yelling, high fives, sneakers on the hardwood floorboards, basketballs bouncing back and forth. The entire team was separated into groups surrounding a different hoop. Head coach James Driggs watched each group like a hawk, waiting for a kink, waiting for something to fix and perfect. The energy was high on the court, you could feel the exhaustion in the room, but the smell of motivation overpowered it. Never stopping, never quitting, no breaks between runs..nothing but true hustle.

The exhaustion is apparent at this point. The players were in practice for over an hour and even still, each player played with purpose. This is when I realized, there was more than just sweat going into the practice, it was purpose. It was intention. All for one point. All for one moment in one game.

I knew I was supposed to be exactly where I was when, nearing the end of practice, as I was walking off the court I hear Coach Driggs yell to the team “NEVER TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED,” this night, my first night at practice I left with a smile on my face.

And so I leave you with a small taste in your mouth of the coverage of the Allegheny College men’s basketball team, and these last words…Never. Ever, underestimate a Division III team. Never doubt the commitment. Never doubt their love for the sport.