What Inspires the Boys Basketball Team

The Knights Boys basketball team has had an awesome season this year. Their overall record was 25-6, with their conference record being 7-3. They also defeated the Manual Rams in the game to win the regional title. While these boys are beasts on the court they also are involved in their community. For example, the team participated in a black history month performance by dancing to the song Candy Rain. Also, the team volunteered at Northmoor and helped the little kids with basketball drills.  

Basketball, while being a fun sport overall, can also be overwhelming. There are early morning workouts, missing out on social events, and a rollercoaster ride of emotions any basketball player might experience. Some of the boys were asked what their inspiration for wanting to play basketball was and what keeps them going and here are the responses: 


Jared Jackson (#5): “My big brother. I see how much he enjoyed it and it looked like it could be fun, it’s interesting to watch. Let me play to see if I enjoy it as much as watching.” 


Jd Etherly (#13): “My uncle because he taught me everything I know. Before he died he was always waking me up in the morning telling me to go in the gym and motivating me.” 


Marlon Herron (#22): “I just love the game. It’s the only sport I can be me. My big brother Damonte Williams (Former Illini Men’s Basketball Player) because he’s gone places in basketball where I wanna go. It helped me become a better person and a better vocal leader. 

If the boys keep these motivations in mind and continue to thrive from them, Richwoods could have even better years to come.  

The head coach of the boy’s basketball team, Will Smith, also gave a statement about the previous team’s success.  “This past season 2022-2023 was phenomenal, not only because of the accomplishments of the team but I’m really proud of the chemistry and the work ethic this team forged throughout the off season continuing throughout the season. This was definitely a season to be proud of for the Richwoods community. I am most proud of the brotherhood that was formed with the team. This group was just fun to watch compete every day in practice and on game nights. They really held each other accountable for all actions on and off the court.” 

Some of Coach Smith’s highlights were, “Seeing the guys accomplish their conditioning goals. We ran 5 miles through Bradley Park and it was amazing to see these guys complete the task and at the end say, ‘is that it coach?’ My 2nd highlight was winning the Rockford Boylan Thanksgiving Tournament because we had never won that tournament. 3rd big highlight was the 5 over time game against Peoria High. 4th was the Regional Championship and completing a city sweep for the first time in 13 years. The 5th being the Sectional tourney run”.  

He was also asked how he felt about how the team is going to look like next year since there are a handful of seniors leaving and he replied, “The team next year is returning 12 players from this past season so we have high expectations, but it will be a totally different team from the team of 22-23 season. I am looking forward to the building of brotherhood and strengthening the bonds we currently have.” 

There are high hopes for next season. With the addition of Lathan Sommerville, a Division 1 Rutgers recruit, the Knights are poised to make another deep run in 2024.  The team is looking forward to the challenge and will no doubt work hard to achieve their goals.