New basketball Head Coach Yerson Gómez passed his first big test leading the TCS HS Boys team to a 2nd Place finish in the recent Binational Games held in Armenia November 10-16.
Gómez, who has played and coached for the Seleccion Antioquia, arrived last year as a technical assistant. Now that he is in charge, he is using all of his experience to benefit the team.
“Yerson has been a great addition to the team, he is a very defensive coach, and plays a lot with the big men, giving players opportunities to play they had not had before. He is probably the best coach I have ever had,” Matias Velez, team captain, said.
One way in which the team dynamics have changed since his arrival is that game time is more inclusive. Both players with extensive experience and newcomers had minutes this season. Gómez appreciates a player’s value not just because of their skills, but because of their effort and passion for the sport.
“People that are normally on the bench, do not feel as they are reserves anymore, but as if they are part of the team and have a purpose,” Nicolas Creus, center, said.
This year’s team has a wide range of players, with eight freshmen and only four seniors. For this reason, one of Gómez’s priorities this year was to integrate the team and teach them about teamwork, respect, and discipline.
“These values will be useful for them their whole lives, in any social group that they are part of,” Gómez said.
For the rest of the tournaments coming up, such as Copa Columbus, Gómez plans to divide the team into Team A and Team B so seniors can enjoy their last matches together, and the freshmen to earn more experience.
“Seniors deserve to leave the school with a title. They have worked so hard for it and played very well together,” Gómez said.
This year’s Binationals tournament in November was Gómez’s first, and his goal was to win it. The team lost the final by one point, but was still content with their experience with their new coach.
“It’s always more than just being their trainer, I like that they see me as a friend, it establishes higher levels of trust,” Gómez said.