Gael Winds

OR

Boys Basketball: Effort, Energy, and Attitude

Copy Editor: Maia Forssman 2023

The temperature has dropped below fifty degrees, and it’s finally time for a new season of basketball here at Kennedy. Ahead of the team’s home opener, I had the opportunity of speaking with new Varsity Head Coach James Loughran, who is ready to bring Kennedy Basketball to new heights.

Coach James first told me that these three qualities in his players are “non-negotiable: effort, energy, and attitude… Those three words are some of the important things to take on even past this game. To me, as long as each day –- no matter how tough it may have been – as long as your energy is high, your effort in all things is at full effect, and your attitude when things go wrong or when things are great remain consistent and positive – you have won half the battle.” Coach also said that he is excited for the upcoming season, if not a bit nervous which he posits is an indication of his passion. “You could find me pacing around an entire gym, an entire locker room, maybe even an entire parking lot. I say it all the time though, when those nerves subside, I’ll know I don’t care about it anymore. Which will never happen.”

After asking if he had any advice for the seniors as they begin their last season, Coach replied that the most important thing is that they enjoy their last year so that they can look back fondly on their athletic journey. “I want them to remember that they aren’t just a number, they aren’t just another player – they mean a lot to me. Every kid in this program does… My favorite quote is: ‘They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.’ I want these guys to leave me, and this program, and be able to come back and remember how much they were cared for, and how much they are loved. As seniors, I have to give credit to their former coaches, I am only here hoping that I can make them one percent better. Whether that be as a basketball player, as a student, as a friend and as a future husband, father, and role model. I remind myself… just leave them better than you found them.” 

Finally, speaking about the energy he wants to see in the bleachers this season, Coach said, “I am just ready for these kids to get the gym filled. I want so badly for the energy within these four walls to be packed. These kids work so hard, they come to practice ready to work, ready to go to war. I just want to be able to look up in the crowd and see support for not just our boys teams, our girls too. I say all the time, it’s never about me. Being named a ‘head coach’ to me is a great honor, but it’s never about me. I’m just blessed for the student support here so far towards me, and now we need to win some games to keep that support.”

On top of being able to discuss the new season with Mr. Loughran, I also had the privilege to speak to seniors Justin Smith, Ryan McInerney, and Ciaran O’Gara, who have been part of the basketball program since their freshman year.

Gael Winds: How has Coach James impacted the team?

O’Gara: “Coach Loughran has done a great job bringing together a strong group of kids for the team this year. He pushes us in practice and holds everyone accountable, he doesn’t pick any favorites. I’m excited to play for Kennedy with Coach James heading our team.”

Gael Winds: Now that it’s your senior year, what’s one thing you look for before you leave?

McInerney: “I’m looking to win a championship and develop a winning tradition in Kennedy Catholic basketball.”

Gael Winds: What’s one thing you will miss from Kennedy basketball?

Justin: “The brotherly bond and camaraderie of all. The guys throughout all four years of being in the program. It doesn’t feel like you’re going out there just to play, you’re playing for your brothers.”

Stay up to date with Boys Varsity Basketball on Instagram @KENNEDYCATHOLICPREPHOOPS and find their game schedule on our school website.

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