Skyline High School boys basketball team wins summer camp tourney at K-State for their school size division.
The Skyline Thunderbirds boys basketball team has been hard at work this summer, trying to improve during the offseason to be ready for the regular season. Last week they won first place at Kansas State University’s Team Camp. Just call them ‘Thundercats,’ now.
Skyline boys basketball head coach Kenny Eddy is entering his third year at the helm. In his first season, SHS finished 17-5, and this past season they finished 20-2. Eddy credits Steve Little, the previous head coach, who started the turn-around for the T-birds program.
Last week 17 players from Skyline made the journey to Manhattan, Kan. to the campus of Kansas State University for KSU’s Team Camp. This was enough to have a full varsity and junior varsity squad. Skyline played schools similar in size to them, as the high schools from around the state were split into different divisions. The varsity team went 8-0 to win their division, and the JV players finished the weekend at 5-1, both impressive records.
“I’m continually more impressed with how much they have each other’s back in games,” Eddy said. “We’re turning into a really close group. The way that we play is fast and ultra aggressive on defense. We thrive on the energy that our bench brings during games. We were by far one of the loudest teams at the camp and we take pride in that. I was pleased with the aggressiveness that our JV team is beginning to play with. On the varsity side, they didn’t back down from anyone. We’ve improved every year that we’ve went to this camp and it felt good to finally win a championship there.”
The trip wasn’t just about basketball, though. It was about building a culture and environment that transforms young players. The almost three-hour drive from Pratt to Manhattan created some great time for the players to grow closer to one another and to create team chemistry.
Every year, Eddy stops at his parents house in Ellsworth, which is important to him, but his young student-athletes enjoy it as well because they get a home-cooked meal from his mom. The team also enjoys eating at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner while on the road and all of it helps the team push through for late nights and playing up to five games a day.
Winning the championship this year was the big finale as far as team activities go for the summer, but Coach Eddy said he has three players who will be on a traveling team, and each player has an opportunity to improve their game via workouts.