By: Brandon Read
High Expectations for Dukes Men’s
On a beautiful, sunny day on September 21, Coach Arthur Horn, of the Cumberland County College Dukes Men’s Basketball team, took time from his busy work schedule and sat down to share some thoughts of what he expected in the upcoming basketball season.
The Dukes Men’s team suffered a lot of injuries last season, which was part of the reason for an excruciating 7-23 record. When asked about what he believed the team learned from last year, he shared that the team played hard. In addition to playing hard he said, “I think we can build on the academic mindset that we started where academics is first. One of the mottos for this year is ‘Victory Starts in the Classroom.’ So, until we can win in the classroom, and that’s going to carry over, to helping us win on the court.”
Coach Horn’s expectations for the season are taken from a book he has recently read which is entitled, “3G mindset.” The book talks about how to think in a 3G mindset. He told me he has taken each G and turned them into G’s for the success of the team. “The first G is to Get them,” he said, “Go out and get them, recruit them, so that’s what we did. So, the second G is Grow them academically, socially, and professionally, and the third G is to Graduate them.”
Coach Horn’s number one expectation is that the men’s basketball team has the highest GPA of all CCC athletic teams on campus. His second expectation is that the team shows respect to, not just themselves, but everyone they come in contact with. Finally, his third expectation is that they play, not just as a team, but a team with good team chemistry. He told me that he got a couple comments from an opposing coach stating, “Hey Coach! Your team actually likes each other, we won tonight, and we are in the playoffs, but we don’t even like each other.” He quotes, “Those expectations might sound small, might not sound like they’re basketball related, but that’s what you do to build and sustain a program that’s going to win and be successful.”
When asked about what goals he had for himself as the head coach he states jokingly, “Not to be as agitated this year.” He then said, “I think that another thing I want to do as the coach is continue to grow and assist the young men to be in a position where colleges want to offer them scholarships. My conversation [with the players] will start with academics and the last thing I’m going to say is academics because you can be the number one player in Region 19, but if you don’t have the grades, we can’t get you to the next level: a four-year school.”
Coach Horn’s prediction for this seasons record is 17-20. His expectations for the future of the Dukes Men’s Basketball team is in the next two years to win the Garden State Conference, advancing to the Region 19 playoffs, and win Region 19 which will lead to the ultimate goal…a shot at the National Championship. The Dukes Men’s Basketball team’s season begins on November 2. From the sound of Coach Horn’s expectations, CCC is in for one phenomenal season.