Varsity basketball team grows

In the three years since Coach Bill Roberts took over Decatur’s basketball program, changes have become a regular occurrence.

Shortly after he became the coach, Roberts created a new ninth-grade team in order to “give as many students as possible opportunities to play.”

Freshman teams are common in the Atlanta area, so creating the team was not an unprecedented move. Now, more students can play, while players start prepping for the JV and Varsity teams as early as possible.

It’s this year’s change that is unusual. Instead of the typical 15-man roster, there are now 17 players on the Varsity team. Roberts made the decision the night of tryouts, deciding all 17 were worthy of spots on the team. Over the past three years, the number of boys trying out has risen from 5o to 85, meaning that making the cut has become more and more difficult. As Decatur’s Graduation Coach (part of the counseling department) as well as the basketball coach, Roberts tries to reverse that pattern and let as many students as possible join the team.

Khari Davis is honored after the December 2nd home game.

“It’s all about giving kids opportunities,” Roberts said. “It’s always good for students to be involved. Being on a team gives them a support system. It helps them academically too.”

Roberts said if he could make the program any bigger, he would.

“We only have so many uniforms. I’m just trying to fill up the uniforms as best I can.”

Varsity player Khari Davis thinks that the team’s expansion is a good thing. “Having more players on the team makes us more versatile,” he said.

Another benefit of expanding the team is that“it gives the starters a rest,” Davis said.

Hopefully, a better rested, more energetic team means more Decatur wins in the future.