Bay County, FL- The High School basketball season has only been over for a couple of months, but area squads are already hard at work for next season. If teams hope to contend for championships they have to play year round.
If you think basketball ends when the state championships are won. Think again!
"The summer is a pivotal time for several reasons." Bay head coach Mike Grady said. "For one basketball is a game that can't be simulated unless you're playing the game. The weight room is good, drills are good, but in order to play basketball you have to get on the court and actually play the game."
If they want to compete at the highest level it's important for high school teams to get their work in well before the season starts.
"It's critical that we work in the summer time because everyone else is working, and if you take the summers off then that's how much better the kids could be getting in the summertime. If you're not working and your opponent is then you're going to be way behind those guys," Rutherford head coach Rhondie Ross said.
For some teams the summer is a chance to get a jump start after losing their top players.
"As young as we are and trying to rebuild minutes in the summer are crucial for nay program." Arnold head coach James Baxley added. "This gives us the opportunity to practice against someone other than the other five, or some of our own players."
For others like Rutherford, who went to the state final-four last season with several young players, it's a chance to keep their momentum while they look to make another run at the title.
"Once you get a taste of that final four you're always trying to get back down there." Ross said. "And we do understand too that hey sometimes you're going to have that bulls-eye on your chest so to speak. So, we know we've got our work cut our for us going forward, but we're looking forward to it."
All these teams hope that putting in the extra work now will pay off come game time.
The teams will continue their summer play at Gulf Coast this weekend as 10 area basketball teams are playing in a three day summer camp. Also, Bay will play host to it's annual summer camp in July.