Confidence high as Hamilton assumes head basketball coach position

Chris Luck, Sports Editor

 Jeff Hamilton knew he would face challenges when he took over as head basketball coach at K-Park.

The team is young, and coming off one of the most successful seasons in school history. Hamilton himself was still getting used to going from coaching college basketball to coaching high school basketball.

He also had a new coaching staff, with new assistants Kolby Huesman, and Daniel Hobbs.

Still, the Panthers want to build on last year’s strong season, where they reached the second round of playoffs before suffering a 40-54 loss to Angleton. Hamilton understands that this team has a large number of seniors who have been playing together for years, and plans to challenge them by running a faster tempo, push-the-ball type of offense and an aggressive defensive approach.

“I don’t know everything the Panthers did last year,” said Hamilton, “but we plan to pressure the basketball with a big emphasis on helping off the basketball, all while continuing to play solid lockdown defense as well.”

This approach is much different than the traditional pass-the-ball-around, slow-the-game type of offense the Panthers traditionally use and should prove to make for some exciting basketball come the season opener.

Senior guard Reid Barker has been a part of Kingwood Park basketball all four years of his high school career and is excited for the new changes around the program.

“The new coaches are a group of great guys that are going to give us all the knowledge they have of the game,”  Barker said, “and start to let us get out and run a little bit more setting us up for more fast break buckets than we have had in the past few years.”

Hamilton expects Barker as an experienced varsity player to be going into his senior year  to be one of the team leaders this year.

“We believe Reid Barker can be a very steady contributor for us this year, and are excited to see what he can do for us,” said Hamilton.

In addition to the seniors on the team, there is one other player with varsity experience on the Panthers. Junior guard Nathan Oakes was the only sophomore on varsity last season and looks to be a key contributor going forward.

“I think the new coaches are good for us.” said Oakes. “They all come from good programs and know what we are all about at K-Park and will look to build on our past success.”

Hamilton is expecting big things from the junior returner on both ends of the court.

“Oakes will be playing out of position and will have a very tough assignment every night,” said Hamilton, “but we think his offensive ability will fit well in our offense.”