There is no off season when it comes to college basketball anymore.
A few years ago. The NCAA instituted a new rule where teams can keep their players around and put them through eight weeks of training.
And that's why you will find the Islander players spending their summer on campus taking part in their off-season work. They get four hours on the court and four hours of conditioning every week.
And right now, they are right in the middle of that summer work.
Talk about being limber. That's Elijah Schmidt, who is 6 feet, 8 inches tall.
And look at that. That is amazing to say the least.
These young men make it look so easy.
As far as conditioning is concerned, they have been going really hard the past couple of weeks. And today, the players got to enjoy some fun and conditioning, taking part in this frisbee game in the heat of the day.
Improving their endurance. just what the training staff wants.
“We like to get the guys a little out of their element and play the ultimate frisbee, dodge ball and some other fun games and let them be athletic,” said Lee Scott, the Islanders’ director of sports performance.
“Some of the things that come natural to them on the court, we are going to take some of those things and apply them in different arenas.”
The work in the blistering Coastal Bend heat should provide conditioning benefits once the season begins, according to Islanders guard Jashawn Talton-Thomas.
“If you can run outside in 102-degree heat, then you can stay on that court all day and run,” Talton-Thomas said. “The heat makes you so tired and you think about it all the time but if you just let it go and get through it you can overcome adversity and it makes you so much stronger.
“So when you are tired at the last moment of a game, you say to yourself I have been through this. I can get this done right here, right now.”
The work is also endorsed by Islanders’ men’s basketball coach Willis Wilson.
“Out here in the heat and the sun creates a lot of adversity and what we are trying to develop is mental toughness,” Wilson said. “One of the things Lee Scott talks about all the time is landing. Guys have to have the dexterity to be able to land.
“You get some of these guys that jump so high, run so fast they stop on a dime, change direction. That’s how injuries occur so a lot of this training is designed to help them develop that dexterity and be able to handle those cuts, the landings and those crazy falls and get right back up and stay in the action.”