With a hard-fought 40-31 win over Grafton Middle School, the Hornsby Middle School boys basketball team ended its season in a way most teams only dream of: not only did the Hawks win the Bay Rivers District Middle School Basketball Championship, they also ended the year with an undefeated 18–0 record.
For a team that Coach Jamal Oweis has described as one of the best he’s ever coached, he says it’s the sort of storybook ending they deserved.
“They played tremendous defense, it was really a sight to see, they held on strong, they finished strong,” said Oweis. “I’ve been coaching almost 40 years, this is maybe a once in a lifetime bunch of guys, so it’s really rewarding to see them achieve success like this after so much hard work.”
Though the basketball season is over for the year, Oweis says the most important part of the job is only beginning: seeing the eighth graders off to high school, and that the boys do as well as students as they did on the court.
“They’ve been kings of the school ever since, but they haven’t let it impact their egos or their grades,” said Oweis. “This is what you work for, you want something these boys can take with them in their lives, and the most important thing a coach can teach them is that there’s more to life than just winning games.”
Most recently, the school held a career day which members of the team participated in, where several businessmen were invited in to talk, some of whom played for Oweis in the past.
“One of my boys from my team when I coached at Toano, he’s now a lawyer here in Williamsburg, he and a bunch of others came in and talked to the boys,” said Oweis. “That’s what you want, success for these kids down the road, on and off the court, and that’s what I want for all of these boys.”
Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email email@example.com, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.