Male practice players needed for women’s basketball squad

September 11, 2009


Coaching staff looking for men who can help the Lady Broncos

By Eric Woodyard
Western Herald

Nearly every student on the campus of Western Michigan University who has decided to pick up a basketball and shoot a jump shot has probably wondered, ‘how does it feel to play for the school basketball team?’

Envisions of hardwood success in the Read Fieldhouse has probably followed, images of he/she sporting and lacing up Adidas sneakers and gear have probably been intriguing, and dreams of competing in official practices have probably been on their mind. These perks are enough to tempt even the most serious recreational basketball players and students who want to join the team.

But what if these fantasies could become a reality? Well…it can…sort of!
The Broncos women’s basketball team is currently seeking male practice players to occasionally help push the female athletes behind-the-scenes for in-game competition.

“Most schools, including us, want their players to compete against players that are bigger, faster, (and) stronger, and often times there aren’t too many females in the normal population that are usually bigger, faster, (and) stronger than your scholarship players,” Western Michigan head coach Tasha McDowell said. “So it’s great to have males that know the game and are willing to be a part of a practice squad to benefit the team. It helps us to react quicker, to defend harder and to be able to go against an elite level of athletes.”

With this great opportunity comes a catch, the coaching staff doesn’t want these men to lose sight of reality and that they will strictly be used to help the student-athletes improve at their skills. Egos and personal triumph will be left at the door.

“If they want to be a practice player, number one they need to be willing to be dedicated to the cause. They need to be available and not have classes between the hours of 6:30 pm and 9:30 and they will get a tryout during practice and we can see what kind of skill level they have,” McDowell said. “But the thing that they need to remember is that it’s about the team and it’s not a chance to relive their glory days.”

Players who have served in this role in the past can vouch that this will be no easy task. Practicing against Divison I athletes (…female or not) is highly competitive and humbling in the same aspect.

“I was helping them by me obviously me being a male with their strength and when they would get in the game than it would be easier going against females,” former-practice player Will Craft said.  “I felt like I was helping them for a better cause, for my school and they also did some things that I couldn’t do.”

For more information on how to help out the women’s basketball team contact assistant coach Glenn Box at (269) 998-1721.

*click on the pic to view this post on the Western Herald’s site!


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