The transition from Charlie’s sophomore year to his junior year was astonishing. This isn’t to say that he started to win a lot of 1v1 games at workouts…….because he didn’t. Charlie was routinely matched up with D-1 caliber players. I did not expect him to win.
Although Charlie rarely ended up in the 1v1 winner’s circle, he remained unfazed. As the summer wore on, he began inching closer and closer to victories. When he lost, the games were long and drawn out. Charlie continued to lose, but the games were never fun for his opponent. The days of easy baskets against him had come to an abrupt end. There would no longer be days where you could sleepwalk your way to an “automatic win”. To make matters worse for his opponents, Charlie was starting to grow….rapidly. The mentality was shifting and something very dangerous was occurring in McDonogh’s gym. Charlie Jones was starting to taste hope.
Outside of our workouts, Charlie’s perseverance was starting to pay off. In summer workouts at Mount Saint Joe, Charlie had established himself as a legitimate contender for playing time…not too bad for a kid who was a staple on the JV’s bench just months before. On the AAU circuit, Charlie had positioned himself as one of the top two players on his team. When he wasn’t playing AAU, working out at MSJ or training multiple times per day with me, Charlie could be found at basketball camps up and down the east coast. Charlie Jones was having his first meeting with success and it looked a whole lot like a grizzly bear meeting a slice of bacon.
Teammates in both high school and AAU were raving about Charlie. He was making the game easier for them. He was unselfish on offense, but not too unselfish. As always, Charles was making plays for others, however, now he was noticing an ability to make plays for himself, too. More than ever, Charles’ number one priority was the success of his teams. Only now, the teams’ success was becoming dependent on having Charlie on the court.
Side note: Basketball isn’t played with two players on the court. I can walk into Baltimore or DC tomorrow and find you twenty dudes that could rake the majority of NBA players over the coals in 1v1. Basketball is about knowing how to play defense with four other guys on your side. Basketball is about making the game easier for your teammates. If your teammates are miraculously worse when YOU play with them, then guess what? That means you are awful…and a selfish loser. Retire immediately. I use 1v1 as a tool for my advanced players so that they can understand how to score when the team offense doesn’t work.