The girls varsity basketball team has a new coach this year
November 26, 2019
When it comes to coaching basketball, this isn’t Michael Kroupa’s first rodeo. The longtime coach played his fair share of games in high school and college and started coaching a sixth-grade team his senior year. Kroupa recognized his love for coaching after his first experience.
“I started doing it while I was in high school and really enjoyed it. I continued coaching high school basketball while attending college and kind of just made a career out of it.”, he explained.
This will be Kroupa’s first year coaching girls’ basketball here at Central, and his passion is evident in his work ethic.
He has been preparing his girls for weeks now. His compassion for his team is clear in practice, where he’s always very prepared and stays enthusiastic, starting as soon as possible. Kroupa explains that his coaching style changes to be successful with the team and the program, so it’s not always the same.
“Hopefully it’s a winning style.”, he finishes jokingly. “We want to improve every day and compete in the Metro from the start.”
The new girls’ varsity coach has high hopes for this upcoming season. “[I’m] extremely excited, I think we have a very talented group of young ladies. They have been welcoming and have been a lot of fun to work with so far.”
Shyla Youngs, a player on the girls’ basketball team shares the same excitement. She’s been playing basketball since the age of eight on her school team and later went on to play select before attending Central. She’s excited to improve her skills and is confident Coach Kroupa can help her do that.
Shyla speaks about the different coaches she’s had over the years and what she appreciates about her most recent one:
“He’s very passionate about basketball and wants the best for us. He made me more confident, and really reassured the skills I have.”
The first time the team met, Kroupa introduced himself, wanted to get to know players before they started, then got down to business. Practices are primarily shooting, drills and preparing for real game situations. When you walk into the gym, Kroupa expects you to be ready to work.
“[Practice] is a really good work environment. Good for improvement.”, says Shyla.
She’s excited for his approach towards the program and how the new coach will bring out the potential of each individual player.
A’nya Jones is one of the seniors playing on Central’s girls varsity team this year, and she is looking forward to the season with optimism and high expectations like her teammates. She is a point guard hoping for a basketball scholarship to college.
A’nya explains Kroupa’s coaching as less running, fun, and team based. Kroupa wants every player to be able to play every position. The senior says playing for him is “less pressure, like just go out there and do it.” The group is very team oriented.
The group mentality seems to have carried over into the team dynamic. “This team is actually really close….it’s really good chemistry, and that carries over to the court.”, she says.
“I feel like [freshmen] are fitting right in. The work really hard so that’s what we like.”
As an individual A’nya has multiple goals for this season. “I want to be the best defensive player in the state. Physically I want to be the best point guard for our team. I want to make my team mates better. I just want to make my teammates look good.”
It is very clear that the team has one collective goal for this upcoming season. “We want to make it to state, that’s the team goal”.
While Central hasn’t yet seen what this new team can do, the school and competitors are sure to in the near future. Coaches and players alike are awaiting the new season with hunger and ambition. No one knows what this new season will bring, although one thing is for sure: The whole program is excited.