A playmaker, a big man, a 3-point shooter: New Life Academy accepts its team roles
A basketball team consists of different roles for players, each tasked with helping the team win with their specific skills.
If the players are able to fulfill those roles, the team as a whole will accomplish big things. If they aren't able to perform those tasks, the team suffers the consequences.
That mentality has translated to the basketball court of New Life Academy and three Eagles that have embraced their roles.
It took some time in the beginning of the season, but now it's time for New Life to fly in a different direction.
"It's been a fun and memorable season so far," said Konner Ware. "We're still not done and we hope to make a run in sections before this season ends."
Michael Reader and Ware understood their roles at the beginning of the season. They were coming back from last season and coach Kory Kiekhoefer expected to see not only production, but leadership as well.
On the other hand, Kollin Kaemingk was brand new to this team and wasn't sure what his role was at the beginning of the season.
But the roles were easy to fall into and they stuck for all three players. The production is showing as Reader and Ware are averaging double-digit points per game and Kaemingk is sitting at 9.2 points per game.
Ware is the playmaker, handling the ball coming down the court on offense and creating plays to shoot an open shot or to find a teammate that's open.
"I trust all of my teammates to make a shot," Ware said. "I'm starting to see more of the court as a basketball player and it makes it easier to either make a shot or pass it to a teammate."
Reader plays the role of big man. With his height and physicality, Reader is in the paint trying to find a mismatch and score a layup or a hook shot. He can also shoot a 3-pointer or a mid-range shot, but his height and aggressive play makes it easier for him to find the basket in the paint.
Kaemingk has developed his role as the outside shooter. He has the approach and release of a 3-point shooter and it's shown with the amount of 3s that have landed in the basket.
"I've just practiced that shot many times, and luckily I've found the right release to connect on the basket," Kaemingk said. "It's been fun to see everyone's success because it's blended into the team's success as well."
Reader and Ware are averaging 16.7 and 13.9 points per game this season, respectively, and have helped the Eagles reach a record of 7-11. New Life has averaged 58.7 points per game as a team, which means these three players have scored about 68 percent of the points in each game.
New Life has seven more games left in the regular season, while also having a conference tournament towards the end of February. If the team continues its success, the Eagles could end the season with a .500 record and possibly earn a higher seed in the section tournament.
"We're excited for the end of the season because we're starting to play our best basketball at the right time," Ware said.
Whether it's Ware making plays, Reader posting up in the paint or Kaemingk connecting on a 3-pointer, all three are prepared to be their best, and understand the results will come with it.
"God has been so great to us and this team this season," Reader said. "It's been a memorable season and I can't wait to see what the next month has in store."