Hoops tips off tonight in Katy

Year one of Seth Due’s coaching tenure had plenty of talking points.

The Ganders competed for a bi-district playoff spot up until the final week of the season when a couple of late losses ended that journey. However, it didn’t come without plenty of scuttlebutt about how Due’s squad battled to a 13-18 overall mark and 5-9 in District 22-5A.

It was a slight overall improvement from 11 wins the previous season and the potential is there for more heading into the campaign that begins at 7 tonight when the Ganders travel to Katy Westpark.

They will enter the battle without junior Keke Davis, who injured his ankle during the football season and could be out for a large part of the basketball campaign.

Yet, the team has shown plenty of optimism before opening tip-off.

“We had a very good off season with strength and conditioning and skills work,” Due said. “These young men are starting to see the fruits of their labor. The level of commitment to our program is excellent and will continue to get even better when we get the rest of the guys from football.”

As the football players continue to transition from the just completed football season, Due sees what he must work with.

“The guys play very hard and are committed to our maximum effort mentality,” Due said. “Our system will be based off the foundation of playing hard, everything else we do falls into place when we play with maximum effort and get after it on defense.”

Davis’ absence has made the other players embrace the role of raising their games.

“Since we are missing Keke, we have to step up,” junior Adrian Boston said. “We just got to get on the same page because we are not all used to playing with each other. We got to get all the players who didn’t play varsity with us to adjust and get where we are at.

“Some of us can shoot, but some of us still need to learn their roles on the team.”

Fellow junior Marc Hall sees the team slowly coming together.

“We are going to have to keep playing and build team chemistry,” Hall said. “We can’t get frustrated with each other. Our strongest point right now is that we talk on defense.”

The Gander goals remain high for this season as Davis’ return and the football turnover continues to find its way.

“Our goal for the season is to continue to grow as a unit that executes and plays extremely hard to put ourselves in position to earn a playoff spot,” Due said. “Our toughness and maximum effort mentality are going to be what makes us unique.”

What will potentially make them special will hinge on the return of Davis.

“We got to win until Keke comes back,” Boston said. “He had a big role. He is a leader. Since we are missing him, we have to see who steps up and does something.”

REL roster members include Adrian and Jacorie Boston, Marc Hall, Keke Davis, Trinity Greene, Elijah Partida, Eliud Saavedra, Myles Land-Chinchilla. Adrian Rodriquez and Marcus Johnson.

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