Editor's note: Canterbury girls basketball coach Scott Kreiger will write a periodical blog post about his experiences as the Indiana All-Stars coach.
Making a connection
Once the identities of Miss Basketball Jessica Rupright and her 12 All-Star teammates were released by the Indianapolis Star on March 21, I was eager to make contact with each of them as soon as possible.
Not only was it the proper thing to do to send congratulations, I was interested in starting the process that ultimately would help prepare us to become the best team possible. Charlie Hall provided me with all the pertinent information (emails, cell phone numbers, addresses, etc.) so I could begin to construct my own database.
Using the technology most familiar to the girls, on the evening of the announcement, I sent out an initial text message to each of their cell phones, introducing myself and congratulating them on the honor of becoming an Indiana All-Star. I also indicated that I would make the effort to call and speak to each of them sometime over the weekend (March 24-25).
All but one of them (Jocelyn Mousty from Eastern) responded back, so I tried again to reach her. Finally, the person I had been texting – most certainly NOT Jocelyn, informed me that I had the wrong number, but wished me luck with the All-Stars nonetheless. It was good for a laugh anyhow and after I figured out my mistake, I was finally able to reach her.
I spent a few hours on that Sunday talking to most of them on the phone, collecting information about them such as their favored position, playing style, offensive and defensive experiences and availability for future meetings and workouts. I still wasn't able to touch base with everyone, but it was a great start. I got the feeling that we had selected a group of girls who were going to work hard, willing to do what was necessary to give us a chance to beat Kentucky.
The final few weeks are busy for the seniors and I needed to know when we would encounter proms, graduation dates, graduation parties, senior trips and anything else that would not allow them to get together.
The first email went out March 28 requesting information about conflict dates. I wanted to set up a mini-camp experience where we could get together for a day, meet each other, discuss where I wanted to go philosophically and basically begin to organize ourselves into a team.
I soon learned that some of the girls would miss our very first full day of the All-Star week in June because of their high school graduation. Those practices are extremely important because we must pack so much into such a short period of time. That necessarily increased the value of the mini-camp, so we made that a top priority. Armed with this new wealth of information, I began to consider how we could make it happen.
More on that later.