Head coach Chris Hamner said his Knights have a lot of players who have been putting in a lot of work this offseason with that Dec. 3 2019-20 opener against Guardian Christian Academy on their minds; for them, it can’t get here soon enough.

“We need to get off to a good start,” Hamner said. “I know that having great leaders on this team, we will be ready to go.”

The Blessed Sacrament Huguenot boys basketball team is bringing back two leading contributors from last year’s group in seniors Raymond Avery and Robbie Kurtz. Last year Avery averaged 15 points and 5 assists while Kurtz averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds. Both have started since they were freshmen. Hamner said the three full seasons of varsity competition for each player “will give them the experience needed to be great leaders of our team.”

In addition to Kurtz and Avery, Nick Dawson, Ben Fleet, Henry Kiefer and Chase Musselman are among the Knights’ returning players.

Newcomers include senior James Hawkins, junior transfers Ben Newton and Zach Miles, juniors Michael Timmons and Carson Conner and sophomores Zander Nadeau and Charlie Winfree.

Like Dawson, Fleet and Musselman, Hawkins as well as Newton and Miles – both of whom came to BSH from Richmond Christian – contributed to the football team’s winning season this year.

Timmons, Conner, Nadeau and Winfree all came up from the JV team, on which Nadeau averaged 25 points.

“We have a great group of kids that get along very well,” Hamner said. “I believe team chemistry will be a positive for us.”

They can shoot the ball well, he said, and they “play extremely hard.” As for improvements that the Knights are looking to make as the season goes on, Hamner said they have to be able to defend.

“We have to be able to consistently get stops against some really good teams in our league,” he said. “We must put pressure on our opponents. We can’t sit back and let other teams survey the court and pick us apart.”

His Knights, he noted, need to be dictating what the other team is doing.

“We have guys that can rebound,” Hamner said. “If we can force tough shots, hopefully we can control both ends of the floor.”

The Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Knights are slated to begin their 2019-20 season on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at home versus Guardian Christian Academy with game time currently set for 7 p.m.

For Hamner’s team, a successful season would mean winning.

“They would want to get a few upsets against some teams that we have not beaten in a long time,” he said, “and probably making a run in the playoffs.”

For Hamner as a coach, it’s about making a positive impact on his players’ lives.

“Just like every year, I want to make a positive impact on these young men’s life. I will not know if I am a successful coach until my guys go on to be great husbands, great fathers, great people,” Hamner said. “My Dad was a high school coach for 30 years and when he died 5 years ago, I already knew what a great Dad he was, but when former players packed the church for his funeral, I knew what a great coach he was as well.”

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