CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii --
Marines and Sailors aboard Camp Smith have come together once again to take a shot at winning the Intramural Basketball League championship.
With five games under their belt, Camp Smith players said they are working hard toward continually improving their offensive and defensive game, using the regular season to prepare for the end-of-season championship tournament.
Camp Smith currently holds a 3-2 record and is determined to keep a winning streak the rest of the season.
“The goals this season are to put the players here at Camp Smith on the map and to bring the [championship] trophy to Camp Smith where it belongs,” said Camp Smith’s forward Arthur Rainey.
Rainey said the team has improved in many areas of the game since last season. He said his team has more heart this year and is willing to put the time into playing as a team and not as individuals.
“Our strength is our playing ability,” said Lavonne Watkins, guard for Camp Smith. “We have talent but we need to put the right people in the right place to better suit the team.”
The players agree finding chemistry among their talent will be key to their success.
“We have several new players that are learning our offensive and defensive scheme,” said Jay Stuckey, forward and co-captain for Camp Smith. “We are only going to get better as we come together as a team. Once you know where each other is going to be on the floor, the game begins [to be] so easy.”
Stuckey said because all of his teammates are very talented and can play numerous positions on the team, they have a big advantage over their competition this season.
“From what I’ve seen so far, I think Camp Smith has more depth than any other team in the league,” said Bryan Baker, forward for Camp Smith. ”That is key - when players can come off the bench and contribute.”
When asked who the key players were on their team, Watkins had a hard time choosing just one or two particular players.
“Offensively we have a couple [standouts]: Johnson, Baker, Rainey, and Ashley,” Watkins said. “They are our main scorers. “Defensively, I get a lot of rebounds, but we all do great on defense.”
His teammates agreed it’s difficult to choose only a few key players on their team when you have such a talented team.
“We don't have one superstar, we have 12 great and solid play-maker players,” Stuckey said. “Each game there is someone different leading the games in points, rebounds, blocks, assists and steals.”
Marcus Miller, guard for Camp Smith, said competing and practicing with such a talented group helps the players push each other to continually improve not only as a team but also individually.
“I enjoy playing with this team because you get to work off each other’s capabilities and learn something new every time you compete,” Miller said.
The team is not only working toward team chemistry on offense but also on defense to ensure their spot in the championship bracket.
“To take the championship, we know we have to play harder defense, harder offense, and we got to put our heart into it,” Miller said.
After losing two games and winning three, Baker agreed his team is going to have to continue to work this season to claim the title.
“When players experience winning and losing together during the season I think camaraderie and heart come
into play,” Baker said. His team’s strong drive, willingness to compete every night and outstanding direction from their very knowledgeable couch, Roberts, is what gives them an advantage over the competition, Baker said.
“Basketball is a team sport and in order to win you have to play together,” said Rainey.
With a little more than a month left before the championship tournament, Camp Smith players said they have their eye on the Championship title, and they plan on taking it together.
“Camp Smith not playing in the championship game is like nailing Jell-O to a tree: ‘its not happening’,” Baker said.
To check out Camp Smith’s next basketball game, contact Joe Au at 254-7597 for a complete schedule of the Intramural Basketball League games.