New year, new teams
“We’re looking for a few good warriors, basketball warriors.” WARREN CROCKETT JR., team president
Ed Moore spent most of Sunday with a basketball tucked under one arm and a whistle in his hand.
As one of the coaches with the Prairieville Warriors, Moore was busy running drills and assessing the skills of more than 20 players who took part in team tryouts Sunday in St. Amant’s Gold Dome.
“We’re looking for a few good warriors, basketball warriors,” said team president Warren Crockett Jr.
The Warriors came together in 2010 with 10 seventh-graders forming one team.
Crockett, 42, and Lance Hollingsworth, 44, decided to organize the team because there were few competitive options for youths wanting to develop basketball skills. The men each had boys who wanted to play tournament basketball.
This year will be the last season for the older boys, so Crockett and Hollingsworth decided to expand the league to offer more boys a chance to compete.
“We looking for boys who want to play basketball, want to compete at a higher level,” Crockett said. “To be a Warrior, you need to be a good person on and off the court.”
The Warriors compete in three leagues and play tournaments in south Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi.
That opportunity to travel and compete against high-caliber teams is why Marquise Hampton, 18, said he enjoyed playing with the team.
“We played against some good teams, and I learned a lot,” Hampton said.
Hampton and teammate Nicholas Hollingsworth said their last season with the Warriors will be bittersweet.
“I had a blast doing it and will miss the team when the season is over,” Nicholas Hollingsworth said.
Crockett and Lance Hollingsworth said they’ve watched that first team grow and its members “really develop over the years into basketball players.”
The Warriors are hoping to have five new teams for players from third- to ninth-grades.
Tryouts will continue Sunday, and the team rosters will be finalized later this month.
The teams will hit the road for tournament play in mid-March.
In addition to players, Crockett said he’s looking for sponsors to help defray the cost of fielding so many teams. He said it costs around $12,000 a season to keep one team on the court. Tournament fees, equipment, jerseys and travel expenses add up, he said.
Crockett, who calls himself a football guy who knows little about basketball, turns to Lance Hollingsworth, a former high school basketball coach, for basketball knowledge.
“We work on everything, every basketball skill, and we’re there for these boys,” Crockett said. “We’re like a family, a Warrior family.”
For information on the team, email Crockett at Pvwarriors@eatel.net.