It’s Time to Ball Out


The Juan Diego Catholic High School logo.

I’ll be walking you through the rigorous two day Juan Diego Basketball tryouts.
The pound of the ball, the sound of the whistle. The sweat dripping off of the players trying to impress the coaches to make the team. Making the team is tough, and there are many people who will be very happy or very upset with how they did.
The intense tryout day starts at 3:20 when the coaches yell for you to start warming up. There isn’t a set warm up that you have to do, so most players do the stretches that help them out the most. Most players usually end up following what the older players do as they attempt to calm their nerves. After that Coach Trost calls the players into a circle where he speaks a bit, and he breaks everyone up by grade. Freshman and Sophomores take one side of the gym, and then Juniors and Seniors take the other side of the gym.
Players then start off by doing some defensive drills, which make you run then slide and then backpedal. “The hard part of the defensive drills was that you always have to keep a wide and square base which uses all of your thigh muscles,” Freshman Jose “JJ” Funes said.“Your muscles become so sore when it’s time to do defensive slides,” Funes continued. Then, players go into one on one closeouts. In this drill, you have to get two defensive stops to get off the court and play offense. “The defensive drills are hard because it works a different muscle in your legs which tires out your quads and wears you down quickly!” Sophomore Nick Kimball said. All of this time the coaches are watching every move you do. You know that they are judging you, which adds lots of additional pressure and stress. Tryouts end at 5 and when you’re done, you can barely walk.
Then, you move on to the best part of the day, the scrimmage. “I was ready for the running because over the summer we had workouts and we started running,” Kimball said. “Also playing another sport like soccer or football can help by cross training your muscles and get you in shape.” Kimball finished. The seniors are captains and pick their teams. The coaches sit in the middle of the court and watch players perform in a game situation. The hardest part of this scrimmage is the stamina,because most kids aren’t ready to be running for that amount of time at such a high intensity. “I was ready for the running, I went into the gym knowing we had a lot of work to do, especially transferring from football to basketball,” Funes added. “It was hard getting back into shape for basketball.” Funes finished. “ I feel like I did well in the scrimmage as we played strong against the other senior players going 3-0.” Kimball stated.
The hardest part is seeing the results of the tryout. There is so much anxiety as you are waiting for the email to see what team you will practice and play on. It is such a great feeling when you make the team, and one of the worst when you get cut. If you get cut there is always time this year to get better for next year!