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The Starkville Academy boys' basketball program has lost 13 players in the last two seasons due to graduation.
Head coach Mark Alexander believes with a school the size of SA, it is hard to maintain a good basketball team when losing those kind of numbers.
Alexander and the Vols welcome two new players who will be sure to boost the SA team.
Juniors O'Shay Kemp and Raheem Robinson are the two newest members to wear the blue and orange. Kemp plays guard and Robinson plays forward.
"They are going to help us a lot," Alexander said. "We will be more athletic than we were last year. We will be able to score the ball a little bit more. Defensive-wise, we have a long way to go. Those new guys have got to learn the system."
Alexander may be more excited about welcoming back point guard Brandon Sharp.
"He hurt his knee early last year," Alexander said. "He didn't get to play a game. He is so good at the point, not a great shooter. It is hard to take the ball from him, and he can get you into an offense. That has been the biggest plus to me so far this summer.
"That will slide Carnail (Minor) to the two-spot, his natural position, and he has been shooting lights out."
The summer is a good time for teams to identify weaknesses, work on those weaknesses and develop different areas of their game. The high school summer basketball league at the Starkville Sportsplex gives team these opportunities.
Alexander wants his team to look at it as something fun to do.
"I absolutely love it," Alexander said. "I tell the guys everyday, 'I wish I was their age again,' because I'd play ball all day. They love it. I think you learn so much especially when you have new players. The more games they play with us the more experience they can get. They get to know me and vice versa so I think it's a plus."
Along with the high school team, the junior varsity Volunteers have also been playing. On Thursday, both the varsity and the junior varsity team played at the same time.
"You almost have to focus more on one team," Alexander said. "Those older guys kind of know the system and they can get by without me a little bit better. The younger guys need a little more guidance."
(Editor's Note: This is a story in a series highlighting high school basketball teams participating in the league at the Starkville Sportsplex. Other teams are scheduled to be featured throughout the summer.)View more articles in: