When a program has been to the playoffs for 23 consecutive years, like the Humble Wildcats boys’ basketball program has, it’s always nice to be in the playoffs.
But there’s also the yearning, the hunger that resides inside for a deep playoff run.
In 2016-17, with a Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ “Top 20” preseason ranking, that’s exactly what the Wildcats are hoping for.
Not just to get in, but to make a run at bigger game.
“Our goals right now are to get to the regional tournament and ultimately to San Antonio,” Humble head coach Lair Crawford said, referencing the state basketball tournament in San Antonio in March.
And when a team has made the playoffs 23 years in a row, there’s a sense of urgency to uphold the tradition of winning that has been built.
“They know when they come in that there’s a certain sense of tradition and if they don’t abide by that and uphold it, they won’t be playing here long,” Crawford said.
Crawford credited past coaches like David Martinez and Troy Kite who helped set expectations with the program, which continues today.
While Humble’s long range goals are big, the team is also playing it one game at a time.
“Every game is going to be tough,” Crawford said. “Especially with this district being so big.”
The Wildcats will play 18 district games this year, two each against the other nine teams in 21-5A.
He added that every road game in particular is tough, whether it has to do with officials a team isn’t used to, the crowd, or whatever other factors make themselves known.
As an overlying key for this year, Crawford said a big factor will be whether the Wildcats can stay healthy. If they can, he says, they will be 10 or 11 deep which factors into how they want to play.
As far as players to watch out for, Crawford mentioned players such as senior Kevin Dawson, senior Isaiah Longino, sophomore Kendrick Gathe and senior Jacob Thomas.