By Cardell Dudley
Throughout DMV hoop circles the APBL is becoming the go to pro league for players looking to jump start their professional basketball journeys. With roughly 450 roster spots in the NBA, quotas for various teams across the water and the D League spots scarce without a impressive college resume it becomes very difficult for aspiring pro ball players to begin their respective careers. The APBL has filled that void. With numerous teams throughout the area showcasing the DMV's best pro players the APBL has become a popular league for players looking to make an impact in the pro ranks. With the APBL season quickly coming upon us I reached out to some of the more respected players throughout the league to get their take on their teams and the APBL as a whole. As you will quickly realize, the Washington Wizards aren't the only quality pro basketball team in town with legit players.
FM- The saying goes, there is only one team happy at the end of season and that's the Champion. What do you feel needs to be done to be the happy team at the end of the 14-15 APBL Season?
CD- We have been fortunate to have won multiple championships before, including the APBL championship two seasons ago. The formula of winning then, is the same now...have our talented players be unselfish, accountable, physical, fast, play with urgency, swagger, minimize mistakes, have high basketball IQ, and whose only agenda is winning the game they're about to play.
FM- The one strength of the Bombers in prior years has been the depth, is that something you key in on when forming the Bombers roster year in year out?
CD- Yes it is...Our game-plan is pressure and to attack in waves with a minimal drop-off of talent when I go to my bench. To do that effectively, you have to have unselfish players willing to sacrifice for the goal of winning games and chips. I'm very mindful of the type of talent and character traits of a player I add to the roster. I don't seek talent - we seek unselfish talent. Players whose only agenda is to win. They have to clearly understand that our approach to success, is that more can be accomplished by utilizing each others talents, than trying to achieve it individually. I'm fortunate and blessed to have players who would be starters and possible All Star caliber players if they played on another team, but sacrificed to choose to play on the Bombers.
FM- Who will you lean on from the roster to help lead the Bombers this season?
CD- Simply put - everyone. PG Brian "BJ" Smith, G Steve Miles, F Danny Sumner, F Derick Payne, C Mike Anderson, G Myron Howe, PF Derrick Wright, SF Julius Wells, G Chris Howard, G Glenn Andrews, F David Candelario, G Derrell Armstrong, F Spider Hines, PF/C Teon Knox, PG Gerell Haynes, PG Cal Booth, F Jamaal Wise, F Jabril Bailey...along with my Assistant Coaches
FM- When you look around the APBL, obviously the champs Metro All Stars, Rockville etc, those are the teams you have to go through to reach the ultimate championship goal, as coach what do feel needs to be done to get pass them?
CD- You come with your full compliment of players, execute game-plan at a high level, and compete with the mindset of winning. Metro All Stars and Rockville Victors are very skilled teams with talented coaches. Both teams are the Bombers rivals; and we have had great battles for several years, with each of us winning our share. It makes each of us battle-tested. I would like to think that our talent, along with our long track record of winning games and championships, would have it so that we all would have to go through each other.
FM- Finish this. As coach of the Beltway Bombers my mission is to.............................
CD- 1. Put my players in the best situation each season to win games and championships 2. Help my players on and off the court with their continued professional basketball aspirations, non-basketball businesses, and life choices 3. Continue to grow the Beltway Bombers and Bomb Squad Dancers brand 4. Continue to become more involved with the residents, kids, families, and businesses in the city and immediate community that we play our home games