New Hood River Valley High School boys basketball coach Phil Vesel was in town two days this week to get acquainted with his future players.
A group of 15 players joined Vesel at open gym on Tuesday night, and held a practice Wednesday night to prepare for the Woodburn Team Camp, which started Thursday and runs through Sunday.
Not all the players could commit to the four-day camp, but Vesel had hoped to take as many as 10 players with him.
“I definitely see some talent on this floor,” said Vesel, who got his first look at the talent core for next year’s ballclub, including point guard Andy Holmson, shooting guard Sam Murillo, and forwards Jarrod Fogle, Todd Shyppertt and Brian Crosswhite.
“I’m going to have to adjust to the high-school level a bit, but my coaching style won’t change much,” said the former head assistant coach at Warner-Pacific College in Portland. “These guys are going to have to work, both on and off the court. I won’t determine playing time, the players will.”
Vesel said he plans to implement a man-to-man defense next year, and expects it will benefit the speedy, athletic Eagles squad.
“The biggest thing I’m going to stress is hard work. If the players buy into that, we’re going to get along fine,” he said.
Vesel begins full-time duty in late August.