Launch into basketball season at hype night

Grace Ontiveros, Sports Editor

Jumping into action, the Bruins Basketball team is preparing to host hype night before the upcoming season.

Leading the Bruins into their new season is senior guard, Rachael Simpson, and senior center, Holden Bryant. The returning boys head coach, Clent Stewart, and new girls head coach, Donnie Martin, have been preparing their teams for weeks ahead of the start to their season. Hype night is a fun way in which the new basketball teams get introduced to the fans. The team participates in a couple of games and warm up drills to show off their skills.

“Hype Night is a fun event for the community,” Simpson said. “It’s an opportunity to show off our basketball teams and get everyone pumped for the season and for everyone to want to support the basketball team.”

Hype night is exciting for all who participate in the event, from the basketball teams to the pom and cheer teams, but the event would not be the same without all of the fans.

“I am most looking forward to seeing all the fans coming out to support the kick-off to our season,” Simpson said. “We just want the fans to come out and support both basketball teams and enjoy doing it!”

The Lady Bruins had an outstanding last season, going nearly undefeated, losing only one game.

“My biggest goal for the season is for us to just be successful as a team. At first, it seemed like it was going to be hard to adjust to, but when we are on the court as a team it just flows perfectly and we work together very well, and it’s a plus that we all seem to get along great,” Simpson said.

The team lost some valuable seniors, but also gained some talented players.

“We had two moves in’s: Chloe Martin from Pryor, along with our coach,” she said. “[I’m] very excited about her to become a huge part of our basketball season as well as just our genuine friend. Shay moved here from Chicago and she’s a very selfless player that gives us continuous motivation on and off the court. Our team is very blessed to have received these move-ins because they became a huge asset to our Bruin family.”

Senior center, Holden Bryant, is also excited for the highly anticipated hype night.

“It’s a way for the school and city of Bartlesville to come out and get excited about the upcoming basketball season as well as getting to meet this year’s team,” Bryant said.

Bryant’s favorite part of hype night (besides the fans of course) is the three-point contest.

“I always enjoy the three-point contest,” he said. “We have some good shooters and the way it’s set up they go head to head and it gets really exciting.”

As for Bryant, it is his last year participating in the event. As a senior he has mixed reactions moving towards the event.

“It’ll be exciting but kinda and bittersweet knowing I’ll never be able to participate in one again,” Bryant said. “But I’m ready to kick off the season.”

Bryant is also looking forward to some newer faces joining the team and is hoping they can help accomplish their goals.

“Caleb Perry and Caden Davis. They’re both young and have a change to help us this year,” Bryant said. “[I hope we] make state this year and really play as a team.”

Similarly to the girl’s team, the boy’s team is also shaping up nicely.

“The team is coming together great I think. We have a lot of experience coming back and a lot of upperclassmen. We have a great camaraderie on the court and are a family off of it,” Bryant said.

Boys head coach Clent Stewart is also excited for the start of the season, and the returning players.

“I think I’m most looking forward to the returning seniors,” Stewart said. “We have quite a few coming back, so we have a lot of experience so hopefully with that experience we can use that on the court, and we got a pretty close knit team as well, with so many seniors, so we’re really looking forward to bonding over the years, and guys that kinda know what my expectations are, so they know how we’re supposed to play, so hopefully that will turn into a good year for us.”

Stewart is especially excited for hype night, with the first home game coming up.

“I’m hoping to see them get hype, as the number one thing, but it should be a fun time,” he said. “Obviously introducing all of our players from eighth grade on up to varsity, and so it’s just a fun night for the community to come out to support the basketball team, both boys and girls teams, and have some fun. Play some team games as well, the three point shooting contest, so it’s really just a fun night for everyone to come enjoy. And the players are getting ready for our first home game being next Tuesday against Owasso.”

Although the season is rapidly approaching, the team captains still remain anonymous.

“We haven’t went through our captains yet, we will do that on Friday,” Stewart said. “But I think with us having so many seniors, I think whether they’re wearing the captain badge or not, I think our seniors are gonna have to lead us, and so it’s going to take all of them stepping up, and helping our younger guys, and also helping each other. For us just to be successful, so our seniors, that being Tome Beard, Jalen Oliver, Tyler Medina, Holden Bryant, Dax Butler, Luke Gray, and Andrew Parker, so hopefully those guys can step up and really use their vocals to get us going each and every day, and also in practice.”

For Stewart, it is not just about wins and losses, but also about building character and putting in the hard work.

“For us, it’s all about one day at a time,” he said. “It’s about being better today than we were yesterday. I think if we focus in on that, the wins and losses, they’ll take care of themself. It’s just how can we continue to push ourselves to not settle, to not be okay with mediocrity, to not be okay with just getting by, and really push ourselves to be the best we can be.”

In order for the team to perform well, Stewart believes it is vital for the fans to really turn out this season.

“I hope they can really rally behind us, and not just us, but the girls team as well,” Stewart said. “Think about home games, it makes a big difference when you have fans there and it gets loud. It’s obviously a little more exciting here at home. And within our conference when we have to win our home games to compete, because going on the road is very tough and so hopefully the fans can help us out and they can get excited about the boys out there on the court.”

Hype night was originally created to help bring the community and the schools together.

“My favorite part of hype night one, is just seeing the community come out to support us,” Stewart said. “I think that’s obviously really fun to see that. The second part is the competition games we have between and involving both guys and the girls, they get into it a little bit, and I hope the community and the fams will also get into it.”