North Texas Daily

Students fill crucial behind-the-scenes role for basketball teams

Students fill crucial behind-the-scenes role for basketball teams

Students fill crucial behind-the-scenes role for basketball teams
December 05
12:09 2013

Faye Darku / Intern Writer

For the Mean Green men’s and women’s basketball teams, student managers work behind the scenes doing whatever it takes to make life a little bit easier for the coaches and players.

They spend hours assisting players and coaches during practices, planning ahead to help as much as they can. Although their duties might seem demanding to some people, the benefits and experiences these students gain are far more important to them.

“Managing is something that is going to pay off later in life,” Kelby Jones said. “I know if I give [head] coach [Mike] Petersen my best I know he’ll help me out whenever I want to go somewhere.”

Jones is the head manager for the Mean Green women’s basketball teams. As a kinesiology sophomore, Jones wants to pursue a job as a basketball coach and sees managing as a way to get an early start. It’s a great opportunity to make connections and to see the operations on how to coach a basketball team, he said.

On an average day, Jones is never sitting down. He sets up practice for the players and coaches. He sets up equipment. He does laundry, gets gear and makes sure it is passed out to the players. He helps rebound shots for players who are shooting and does anything else to help out the coach.

“I just love it. I really have no personal life because I’m so involved in this, but I love it so much,” Jones said. “I spend so much time here but it’s a great opportunity.”

One of the many great benefits Jones gets from managing is traveling on every trip with the team, where he’s able to fulfill the same obligations for it.

The players and coaches definitely feel the impact Jones has on a regular basis throughout the season. For associate head coach Ashley Davis, Jones’ dedication and attitude adds to the many other things he does for the team.

“Kelby is wonderful. He spends a lot of time here and is one of the most dedicated managers I’ve seen at a college level,” Davis said. “He loves being around the girls and I think he puts his heart into what he does for us.”

On the men’s basketball team, one of the student managers is English senior Chad Farmer, who also plans on managing for future plans as a coach.

He sees his role as an opportunity to gain as much knowledge about basketball management as he can. His responsibilities are similar to Jones’.

“Managing is important to my future and I also do it for the fun,” Farmer said. “To me, it’s a win-win situation.”

Mean Green’s men’s basketball senior guard Alzee Williams is very appreciative of the managers and all that they do for him and the team.

“The managers are a big help to us,” he said. “They help us with practices and games and take stress off of us.”

Team managers volunteer their time for the first year, but can reach a paid position in future seasons.

Biology sophomore Ryan Vargo is also a student manager for the men’s team, but with duties that differ slightly from Farmer and Jones. As a general manager, Vargo’s duties are to gather film of the opposing schools to show to the players and coaches when requested during practices. Players and coaches rely on film to prepare for games.

Unlike the others, Vargo does not plan to coach basketball, but enjoys the time spent on the job.

“I really enjoy what I do,” Vargo said. “It’s a lot of fun for me and a great experience.”

Feature photo: Student assistant Kelby Jones tries to keep the ball away from freshman guard Candice Adams during practice. Photo by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer 

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