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News> Player to Watch - John Winchester

December 13, 2011

The Connecticut Topballerz began the practice week looking to regroup after two very tough losses by a combined 7 total points to Nationally Ranked New Jersey Express and the Staten Island Vipers. Coming off of a defeat, the fortitude and resilience of the team would experience its toughest test. Would the Topballerz hang their heads low and dwell on the past or would they pick themselves up, learn from their mistakes and take the next step to greatness? Within minutes of entering into the Topballerz practice it was evident that the Topballerz had chosen the latter. Without the Coach’s prodding, the team met underneath the near rim, huddled up and Bobby Moore began to speak. He barked at the team that NOW is when they needed to come together. That NOW was when they needed to be their toughest and take the next step to greatness. He reiterated that it was only one game and that the season was 30 games long…to pick their heads up and “represent” the way he knew they could. The team clapped and echoed his sentiments with a boisterous “let’s go” followed by some high fives and a Topballerz cheer.

Practice began with some conditioning followed by the 11-man drill and then eventually ended with a very intense scrimmage. Each player respected one another, but they went at each other harder and more fiercely than in any other practice. It was evident that they weren’t taking the losses lightly and though it weighed on their minds, they were more focused on growing and learning from it than anything else.

Throughout the practice week, players battled and pushed one another, almost to their breaking points. One player stood out above all with his hard work, his hustle and his leadership and that was John Winchester. A former University of Tennessee standout, Winchester is every coach’s dream. He works hard, never takes a play off and has developed into a somewhat player/coach in the way he mentors and helps his teammates on and off the court. Blessed with a smooth jump shot and a very high basketball IQ, Winchester has taken over the leadership role for the Topballerz. Assistant Coach John Scavuzzo stated that “the thing that makes him so special is the fact that he understand the game so well and more importantly, he understands that everyone on the team has a different personality type and therefore , each teammate requires a unique way of being coached/mentored/criticized. That one style of mentoring just won’t cut it….and that’s a quality that is valued and very rare to find at these ranks!”

Winchester and the Topballerz continue their season this Saturday at 7:30 at home against division rival, NYC Thunder. Come out and support Connecticut’s very own professional basketball team.

“Where Winning is a Habit, Success is a Choice!”

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