The Hopkinsville Tigers are in a transitioning phase as they look for a new coach, but don’t tell interim head coach Anthony Babb that.
Babb, shortly after stepping down as the Hoptown girls’ basketball coach, was called upon to take the Tigers through the summer program and he said he has enjoyed every moment of it.
“I had about a week and a half off and I didn’t know this was going to happen,” he said. “Once one door closes, God opens another door so I’m just grateful to have this opportunity to watch these kids grow and watch these kids develop and play.”
While the interim coach is enjoying himself, Babb said the players had enjoyed the process as well.
“They’ve been having fun and I’ve been having fun,” Babb said at Summer Shootout. “I’m just trying to grow with them and help them understand who I am so I can understand who they are. This group of guys is fun to watch. I like the way they compete, we just got to turn it up a notch on defense. Overall, I’m liking it.”
The head coaching position at Hoptown is still open and Babb was aware he was just asked to step in for the summer.
He made sure he just tried to help the Tigers’ players improve individually and didn’t focus a lot on team play throughout the summer.
“We’ve been doing a lot of individual improvement,” he said. “Right now, I’m not trying to teach them a lot of plays, I’m teaching them how to play. Knowing how to go hard every possession. We don’t need anybody out there cadillacing. Just go out there and have fun and do what you say you love doing.”
Babb said the area he saw the most improvement from his Tiger team was the communication aspect of the game.
“They’re talking and they’re communicating better,” Babb said. “When I came in, I told them, ‘A closed mouth don’t get fed.’ Now they’re starting to talk more and they’re acknowledging when they mess up. I do the same when I mess up. We’re holding each other accountable and that’s how you build. We’re building brick by brick.”
Now in the dead period of the summer and with basketball basically done until October, Babb is happy he had a part in building the program toward hopeful success in the 2021-22 season.