Chemistry, Character at Forefront of Coolidge MBB Success

2 years ago Andrew Luberda 0

The Coolidge boys’ basketball team is off to its best start in recent years, thanks in part to a group of seniors who have been playing together on the court since elementary school, and a team that is doing things right off the court as well.

“The biggest credit to (these players) is they’re changing the culture at the school and in the program, specifically,” Coolidge third-year head coach Chris Leman told “Four years into it, we really know the players, we know their strengths. I think our chemistry is at an all-time high.”

As many as nine seniors have been playing together since elementary school, including local youth leagues. That chemistry and familiarity helped the Bears finish the theoretical first-half of their season with a 9 – 5 record and the Joy Christian School Winter Start Tournament Championship.

“We’ve all been friends for a long time,” said senior point guard Manuel Madrid, a three-year varsity player. “Our chemistry is really good right now, and the young guys that are in, they’ve blended in great with us.”

Senior guard Jovann Thompson, a region Player of the Year candidate, is a three-year varsity starter at Coolidge and leads the Bears in scoring and assists. He earned Tournament MVP honors at Joy Christian and expects the team’s success to continue in the second half, which begins Jan. 4 versus Santa Cruz in what is the first of five-straight home games for the Bears.

“We’re more bought in,” said Thompson, who was recently named our Player of the Week. “(We’re) more as a team; together.”