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Player runs along side opponent, while they are looking the other way

Oilers basketball season shows promise

on November 19, 2012

Richmond BasketballCan you hear it? The sharp squeaks of sneakers across the shellacked hardwood and the echoing buzz signaling the end of a period? That’s right, it’s basketball time, and the Richmond Oilers are ramping up to for a season of success that could turn the tables on their recent history.

Last season, the Oilers won a single game, a one-point win against DeAnza Highschool, and lost the rest, 26 in all. This year, Coach Rob Collins thinks that the team can turn that losing streak around. Even if they can’t, Collins has high hopes for the team.

Xavier Lane, or “Mr. 3.5” as another student called him, proudly boasts about his good grades and athletic skill, as he starts this season just on the heels of his season with the Oilers’ football team. The only one who might be more proud is his coach, who says a handful of his players have high grade point averages.

Richmond BasketballCollins wants the athletics program at Richmond high to be a place for students to be safe and grow as athletes, and as young adults. The bottom line for him isn’t wins and college prospects, it is good grades and safety for his players. While he thinks that Richmond High has a long way to go, he believes that improved athletics could be the key.

“I could be dreaming, but you know something? I’d rather dream than not,” said Collins.

Luckily for Collins, it is looking like he might get to win on and off the court. At a scrimmage against College Prep in Oakland on Saturday, the Oilers held their own with an unofficial win over the private school. Out of the six periods played in the scrimmage, with the score resetting after each one, the Oilers won the first three, lost two, and tied one.

Richmond BasketballCollege Prep won nine more games than Richmond High did last season.

During the game, the College Prep coach stood and screamed red-faced from the sidelines. while Collins sat quietly for most of the game.

“If you give a test in algebra, you don’t talk through it,” said Collins, “why would I yell here?” Collins thinks this low-key kind of coaching is better. He doesn’t see any value in screaming at his players.

This style seems to be paying off. The team seemed in sync on Saturday. Collins would occasionally call out a play, and with watch-like precision, the Oilers would execute.

Just the night before, in the Richmond High gym, Collins drilled the team, patiently explaining what they should do when they hear things like “freeze,” or “Santa Clara.”

If the team can continue to perform, on the court, and in the classroom, this season should be fun to watch.

Varsity Basketball Schedule

* Conference game

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