At C.A. Johnson, lessons learned on the football field are now being used on the basketball court.
Several of the Green Hornets’ basketball players — including three returning starters — spent the fall grinding through a 2-9 season on the gridiron.
Now, as the basketball squad fights back from an 0-2 region start, the Hornets are again exercising perseverance and hard work.
“It’s rocky, and we’ve gone through a lot,” said second-year coach Daryl Jarvis. “But they just bring that same positive attitude from football, that it’s never over and that we never quit.”
Three of the Hornets’ four returning starters were stars on the football squad — wide receivers Anthony Eaddy and Peter Goodman play guard, and quarterback Michael Knox plays forward and guard.
“Football season was kind of hard, but we made the playoffs and it kind of showed us that if we worked hard, good things could happen,” said Eaddy, who is becoming a leader for the team. “It’s basically the same thing now with basketball.”
At 3-9 overall, the Hornets are looking to dig themselves out a hole, and Jarvis said the mental toughness many of his players developed on the football field will help with that.
With a crew of players who have been together since eighth grade, Knox said he expected the Hornets’ chemistry to help them be successful this season.
“Our chemistry from football season, we were so in tune with each other, and bringing that to the basketball court was a big help,” Knox said.
With so much talent and experience on the court, Jarvis said the Hornets should be well on the way to surpassing last year’s trip to the second round of the playoffs.
But the missing piece of their puzzle is confidence, he said.
“Everybody knows how good we are capable of being, but it feels like they are still holding back,” Jarvis said. “There’s a set of expectations that we have in the basketball program that they might not have in other programs, so they just aren’t used to it.”
But the Hornets are starting to come around.
“I really do think we have a high potential this season, we just have to see it,” Goodman said.
Added Bre’ondre Johnson, another returning starter, “We’ve really just got to come together and believe in it. If we can do that, we can do something special.”
With four weeks left in the region season, the Hornets believe their breakthrough game is around the corner.