Root welcomes Adamsville basketball supporters
By Andrew Alexander
Nathaniel Root, head coach of the Adamsville High School boys’ basketball team, held a “meet and greet” to address AHS basketball supporters about his plans for the team over coffee and donuts in the AHS cafeteria Saturday morning.
Root began the meeting discussing the importance of his coaching staff by recognizing his assistant coach Steven Price.
“You’re only as good as the people on your staff,” said Root.
Root told the crowd how he and his staff will build the basketball program, raise funds for the program, manage his players and their playing time, improve the facilities, and preserve the tradition of AHS basketball and promised that he intends to play the best players no matter where they are from, or whether they are seniors or freshmen.
“I want to win, and I want to put a winning team onto the court,” said Root. “Kids can’t be scared of competition.”
In a portion of his address Root talked about Adamsville’s “open enrollment” and how he will do everything in his power, within the rules, to attract players from around the county to AHS.
The coach mentioned that he has been turned in for alleged recruiting violations twice in his brief time at Adamsville, but Superintendent Charlie Miskelly found no rules broken by his actions.
“I’ve been turned in twice since I’ve been here and I haven’t broken a rule yet,” said Root. “I’m putting forth an effort to build this program for this community and our kids, and I’m going to continue pushing the limit. That’s just how I am.”
Root credited Coach Brandon Gray for his accomplishments with the football program and said that when a player from the county has to choose where he is going to attend high school it certainly helps to have not only the best basketball program in the county, but the best football program in the county as well.
“I want that football program to be unbelievable,” said Root, “so [incoming players] say ‘they have the best football program in this area, and that’s where I want to play, but I also want to play basketball, and they have the best basketball team in the area too.”
Root expressed his feelings about contributing to junior high and junior pro basketball in Adamsville as well, saying that he was going to be very involved to ensure the kids are being instructed properly on the fundamentals of the sport.
Root, with the assistance of Tim Campbell and Jeff Miller, has organized a booster club for the basketball program called Assist Club that meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night in the AHS cafeteria.
The club offers four levels of membership ranging from a $50 package that includes a Cardinal Assist Club t-shirt and a pass for Assist Club Saturdays, which are lunches with players and sponsors before two Saturday games, to a $350 package that includes the club member’s name, or business’ name, on on the Sponsor Board in the gym, recognition on the Coach Root radio show, two Assist Club t-shirts, two Assist Club Saturday passes, four season tickets, and a picture with the Cardinal basketball team.
Campbell has also organized an AAU team for Adamsville basketball players that will expose them to a new level of competition by playing teams from Memphis.
Root also plans to schedule games against teams from Memphis during the regular season to improve his team’s toughness by playing against “stiffer competition.”
Root’s vision for the team in the upcoming year has a wish list that includes new uniforms, a new washer and dryer in the locker room area, and new basketballs.
A locker room remodeling project that encompasses new lockers, a window air conditioning unit, floors to be painted and sealed, a mobile dry-erase board, and bathroom renovations is underway with old lockers already removed, and walls in the boys’ locker room reduced to rubble.
One item from the list that has already arrived at AHS is the basketball team’s new shooting repetition gun that allows players to practice shooting drills with the convenience of not having to fetch balls. The machine even rotates on its axis to deliver passes to players at different locations on the court simply by selecting those spots by the press of a button.