The ball is now in his court

Sarah Selzer
Sports Editor

A chorus of pounding basketballs dribbling against the dull, wooden floor will echo in the Herbert Center Gym at the start of basketball season, but with a new head coach leading practices and games.

Ren Marquette, Dean of Stuart Hall High School, has agreed to coach both the JV and varsity teams this season, starting in mid-November.

“I have spent most of my life analyzing the game,” Marquette said. “My father was the one who inspired me to be a coach, and from there I received my first job at Whittier, three years after graduating college, as an assistant coach for four years. In addition, I have coached at several Jesuit and non-Jesuit institutions over the past two decades.”

The practice plan for the season will incorporate multiple drills pertaining to footwork exercises and hand-eye coordination techniques when handling the ball, according to Marquette.

“At our first pre season meeting we discussed a practice schedule and the general attitude that is expected of us,” junior Alex Farran said. “He has a strong plan for the season and I am excited to see how it plays out.”

Both JV and varsity teams traditionally practice separately, but this season they will practice together.

“My long-term goal for this season is for both teams to become better basketball players and to be able to use their individual skills in a team effort in JV and varsity,” Marquette said.

“It’s all about the position of advantage with the skills that they build throughout the season.”

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Marquette says he plans to run a fast-break offense, combined with a heavy defense plan during practices and in games that will serve as staples for the season.

“Everybody will learn to play defense, which is the most important part of my complex plan as a coach,” Marquette said.

Marquette has spent 35 years playing and coaching basketball.

“I think that he will bring his experience from past coaching years to the table as well as a really good positive attitude,” junior Isabelle Armstrong said. “He has an array of different defensive and offensive plays that will strengthen our team significantly.”

Workouts will include more playing time and skill strengthening with footwork, handling the ball and adjusting together as a team, according to Marquette.

“There are so many things to learn from basketball,” Marquette said. “This sport shapes character in how you learn to react, which develops mental toughness. I hope the girls learn this season that character comes from commitment and actively wanting to be better.”

Tryouts are scheduled for Nov. 10 in the Herbert Center Gym at 3:30 p.m.

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