By Michael Kinney
In his first season as the Mustang boys head basketball coach, Tondrell Durham has shown he is not afraid to do things his way.
One of the techniques Durham has implemented is getting better communication between the coaches and the players. That includes at the end of each practice, holding hands as they stand in a circle discussing the previous two hours.
“I think it’s important that you do things that involve the team all together,” Durham said. “That is just us coming together, talking about practice. I’m giving a message about how I feel about practice. If you’re a head coach and you’re not letting your players know how you feel about practice, then you won’t be very successful.”
The Broncos officially kicked of the season two weeks ago with their first team practice. He has set out what his expectations are each day for the team in the simplest way.
I am trying to get them to understand how to play basketball out of a system,” Durham said. “Trying to get them to practice hard, play hard and practice with a purpose and be consistent.”
In order to get those expectations across, Durham relies on what the players know best.
“The practices have been kind of up and down. I give them a practice grade every day. I told them that if they are making A’s and B’s from me, that means they are being consistent. If they are making C’s, D’s and F’s, it means we have a lot of work to do.”
Durham has shown so far that he is a tough grader.
“They’ve had one A up to this point and they were pretty fired up about that A,” Durham said. “I really don’t give a lot of As when it comes to basketball. But we had a morning practice that was a very good practice. I am just looking for consistent practices.”
The team’s first scrimmage isn’t until Nov. 2 when the Broncos travel to Douglas High to face the defending 3A Champions and Putnam City West.
“I think as a collective group we’ve gotten better,” Durham said. ‘It’s not just one individual. We’ve gotten better.”