Boys basketball builds new culture


Photo by Joe DeFano

Junior Zakar Finch is fouled attempting a layup against the Plainfield North Tigers on Jan. 20 at home.

Ben Martin, Sports Editor

The boys basketball team stands at a 5-win and 17-loss season looking to change Central’s basketball culture.
This year was the first year under a new head coach for the boy’s program, Anton Wilkins, who has a long history of being involved with the sport.
“I was a middle school, high school, and AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] coach,” Wilkins said. “I coached in Texas for about 3 years and an assistant coach for about 7-8 years there.”
Although the Wildcats have a losing record, the staff wishes to build on the winning ways of how the program used to be, especially in such a difficult conference this year.
“I know what Plainfield Central basketball was back then, I know that’s something that I want to be able to get our kids back to,” Wilkins said. “I want to build onto that environment of not just winning but also how we do things.”
The team has improved on their individual skills and are happy with how hard-working the rest of the team is.
“Players should bring energy and heart and stay committed through the ups and downs,” junior Quintin Krueger said. “I want to continue to improve my ball handling and defense for the team.”
Along with hard work, the team tries to work towards new goals for each game and learn to adapt to different playstyles for each opponent.
“Our team goal I’d say is to improve each week,” senior Colin Bailye said. “It’s important to improve day by day and game by game.”
A big focus that the team has begun to prioritize for this new culture is bringing a determined attitude and high energy to the program.
“I want to be a better player than what I was at the start of the season,” senior Kameron Garfield said. “I want to bring effort and energy to the team.”
This goes along with practicing not to focus on wins and losses but to know that each teammate is continuing to work.
“Energy leads to competitivenes and competitiveness leads to us having fun,” Wilkins said. “Our practices have been really competitive as of late, which has led to us playing better.”
The chemistry between the players and staff will help to build the culture for next year.
“You don’t have to look at the scoreboard to know how and if you’re improving or not,” Wilkins said. “They know what we’re trying to get to and they’re continuously and relentlessly getting there.”