Beyond Basketball: Giving High School Athletes the College Experience
DOVER, Del.- Dover Boys Basketball Head Coach Stephen Wilson knows that not every player on his high school roster will one day have the college experience as an athlete.
That’s why Wilson wants to remedy that by providing his student-athletes with the collegiate experience before their high school graduation.
“Look at their shoes,” Wilson pointed out. “They all have the same shoes and two or three pairs of them.”
Not many players on the high school level have more than one pair of shoes, but Wilson’s philosophy goes beyond the gear.
The enhanced family feeling among collegiate athletes is propelled by the elevated play that accompanies the college ranks.
Wilson is grasping that by become a father figure to his athletes way before they reach high school. When they do reach high school, it’s the grand finale.
“I love those guys,” Wilson said. “My players hate me on the court but love me off the court and that’s just how it goes here.”
He’s coached star guard Jordan Allen since he was in sixth grade. Under Wilson’s leadership and tailoring, Allen will be one of those players who will have the college experience on a Rider University scholarship.
In fact, the main reason why Allen committed to Rider is because its coaching staff reminds him of Wilson.
Wilson even think about the cheerleaders.
“I want them all to have that experience before they leave here,” Wilson said
The New Jersey native head coach has four goals for his 2015-16 team:
1. Win the division
2. Win the conference
3. Win a state championship
4. Have 100 percent graduation with the seniors.
“They know that I stand for academics first,” Wilson said. “Basketball is going to stop one day and he is going to be a father, a husband and that’s more important to me than him being a basketball player.”