Rector and Wang step up to coach Girls JV Basketball after Davey steps away from coaching

February 12, 2019 — by Justin Guo and Colleen Feng

As a result of small numbers, new teachers adjust to the task of coaching by implementing more emphasis on defense and conditioning from before.

With the departure of Mike Davey at the end of  last year from coaching basketball, the girls’ JV basketball team had no head coach. It was the second consecutive year where the girls were looking for a new coach to take the reins.

This year, there was no clear-cut internal replacement to take over, especially considering Davey’s run of success over 20 years coaching both boys’ and girls’ basketball, leading both teams into deep CCS runs and championship victories.

Last summer, English teacher Erick Rector stepped up to the task along with the new computer science teacher Thomas Wang, who volunteered to be an assistant coach. Though neither of them had any experience coaching basketball, they are both alumni who were heavily invested in sports during their time at the school.

Wang played basketball under Davey from 2006-2009, and Rector played basketball and rowed during his high school days, graduating in 2000. Their experience as athletes and their understanding of the sports landscape at the school led to a smooth transition into the job.

“I’ve always liked basketball and playing basketball, so the idea of coaching seemed like a really fun opportunity and a good way for me to experience basketball in a different way,” Rector said.

Rector has previous coaching experience with the  girls’ lacrosse team, but just having coaching experience was not enough; Rector still had to research techniques of the game.

“I just had to really think about what kind of drills I would want the kids to do in order for them to improve as basketball players,” he said. “So I ended up watching a lot of coaching tutorials and basketball tutorials on YouTube.”

The plans that Rector came up with for the team have included basic dribbling drills and shooting drills. Along with that, he has included exercises that focus on defense.

Making the situation especially challenging this year is that the team has only eight players, compared with a roster that ideally would run 12 deep. According to Rector, this small size makes it difficult to run drills since they can’t even play five-on-five during practices. In addition, a small team also forces the girls play for an extensive amount of time during games without taking a break, whereas normally players would be alternating during the game.

Sophomore point guard Athena Mahajani said they adapt to their small numbers by increasing their stamina through running drills at practice. Mahajani added that their small numbers have huge in-game implications.  

“When teams press we usually take turns bringing up the ball so one person doesn’t get too tired,” she said. “We usually get extremely exhausted in the fourth quarter but we save up timeouts so we get lots of rest.”

Additionally, the team’s offense differs from last season, something Mahajani attributes to Rector and Wang’s efforts to encourage a more active offense by spreading the dependency among all teammates rather than just a few. While last year the team’s offense was more play-oriented, relying on a few players, Mahajani noted that “more players score this year than last year for sure.” All things considered, the players are happy with their season, boasting a record of 6-5 in league so far, and their last game of the season will be on Feb. 11 against Palo Alto.

Rector noted that the other coaches such as head coach Danny Wallace have helped guide him and Wang through the season.

“The other basketball coaches are a great support group. We spend a lot of time talking about prepping and going over the games, which really makes me feel like part of the coaching team,” Rector said.

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