PASADENA – Long before the first ball is tipped in the 2014-15 high school basketball season, local teams are laying the groundwork this summer — wearing practice jerseys in sparsely-filled gyms — for successful runs.
The boys basketball teams for Ball High, La Marque and Santa Fe are among eight teams participating in the Pasadena summer basketball league, hosted by Dobie and Memorial high schools.
Ultimately, more important than final scores (Ball High’s A-team topped its Santa Fe counterparts, 53-38, for the record) in these summer games is the early opportunity to build team chemistry for the upcoming season.
“It helps us develop as a team before the regular season starts,” Ball High senior Shawn Evans said.
With high school basketball season still a few months away, the summer league also allows the players to keep their skills sharp in as close as it comes to an actual game atmosphere.
“Anytime the kids have an opportunity to hone their skills, it’s going to be beneficial for them in the long run,” Ball High head coach Jerald Temple said. “It’s good to see the kids showing up and working hard.”
Not permitted to actually serve in a coaching capacity during the summertime, Temple relished the more relaxed setting of taking in the game as merely a very interested observer.
“It’s definitely a lot lighter than being on the sidelines,” Temple said.
Although the summer league games are ultimately an alternate form of practice for next season, it did not mean the games were played at half-speed or without the intensity of a regular season game.
“It’s a summer basketball game, but kids are boxing out, diving for loose balls, getting back on defense,” Temple said.
Temple praised the organization and officiating of the Pasadena summer league, which he said Ball High has participated in for the past few years.
The Pasadena summer basketball league, which began June 24 and is played weekly on Tuesdays, is set to last two more weeks with games at Dobie and Memorial high schools.