By Bailey Pennycuff
The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team is equipped with an elaborate coaching staff, and a talented team. However, the part of the team that goes unrecognized is the managers.
The superb managing staff is made up of three HutchCC sophomores: Ezekiel Peterson, Addison Ehart and Bryan Suarez.
Blue Dragon assistant coach Jay Cyriac works closely with the managers and has gotten to know them well.
“Ezekiel is probably the quietest of the group,” Cyriac said. “He’s a great student and always thinks ahead. Bryan is very friendly and played basketball at Buhler. He’s always available to help day or night and does it with a smile. Addison is probably the most talkative and friendly of the group. He’s always willing to do anything that is asked of him and isn’t afraid to work hard. He’s great with the players and is headed to the military after graduation.”
The managers have multiple tasks to complete every day in order to keep the whole team on track.
“Being a basketball manager is pretty fun,” Ehart said. “We have to have everything prepared for practice everyday. For games, we fill up water bottles and make sure all the players have their uniforms. On a daily basis, I make sure the ball rack, towels and hand sanitizer is always ready in the gym.”
In addition to their normal duties, if players decide to stay longer after practice to shoot, the managers stay and rebound. If the coaches need an extra person for a drill, a manager may pass or rebound for the team. The managers do the team’s laundry, including uniforms and practice gear. They also keep the score and run the clock throughout practice, and wipe sweat off the floor to keep the team safe.
During games, the managers are either filming the game, or they are on the bench supporting their team.
“There’s always a lot of little things that they help the coaching staff with daily. They are usually the first ones to arrive and the last to leave,” Cyriac said.
Although their responsibilities sound difficult, the managers find a way to have fun and look at the positives.
“It’s pretty cool being able to be a part of the team, and being able to help out. And, we also get nice gear, and our school is paid for,” Peterson said.
The relationships between the players and the managers is significant, and will be memorable to everyone.