Since early March the Olympians Men’s Basketball team has been fine-tuning their skills in hopes of a championship season. Spring workouts began and since then the team has had many ups-and-downs, but Coach Helscher believes that with the return of three starters from last season; Jalen Jordan, Darian Huber, and David Jones, the Olympians will be tough competition for teams to come.
Helscher made it apparently clear that if his team is going to succeed, their success will have to stem from their defense. “We need to have an attitude about ourselves that promotes better defense… If we can get that we’re going to be tough.” He further explained, “There has to be a certain toughness about you, and I talk about it being the workman’s attitude. Are you willing to dive on the floor for a loose ball? Are you willing to take a charge?” All of these philosophies focused on the concept of supporting each teammate defensively to consequently open up and expand their offense.
This is a mindset that Coach Helscher has been pushing at Mesa for many years. This will be his 27th year on the Olympians coaching staff and his 17th season as Head Coach. Through all these years of experience Helscher has learned “defense is what brings your team together.
This unselfish style of play, leaning heavily on the importance of defense and teamwork, has trickled down and made an impact on the players competing. When Team Captain, Dejuan Owens was asked specifically what he expects from himself this season, he responded “I just want to help my team win.” Shaun Stanley responded to the same question, “I have high expectations for myself but I’m just worried about the team, I just want us to have a good year.” Stanley also emphasized how important it is that if the Olympians are to succeed they must “play together.” This mindset is what Helscher believes will take his team to the next level of competition.
To compliment the strong returning force of starters to the team this year, the Olympians will also feature a strong core of new talent and role players in the program. Team Captain Jordan Alexander is expected to be a strong part of this team, playing mostly small forward and shooting guard. Josh Conwright returns to fulfill his final season of eligibility at Mesa. Shon Walker, a transfer from the Navy is expected to make quite an impact as well.
Looking forward the Olympians attend two tournaments in November; firstly at the College of the Desert and the other at Fullerton College. Following that the Olympians host the San Diego Mesa Tournament at the end of December.