Nova Hawks Head Coach Brian Hall making adjustments during a timeout in a victory over the Winchester Storm
"We have definitely started out strong and going back watching the game film I notice more of a commitment on the defensive side of the ball." - Nova Hawks Head Coach Brian Hall
Throughout the history of the organization's existence, the Nova Hawks have been competitive and have always had talent to contend for a APBL Championship. There have been all league honors, scoring champions and of course the ultimate goal outside of winning, players moving on to higher levels of professional basketball like overseas and the NBA Developmental League. When it comes to honors and accolades, you name it the Hawks have accomplished it....except, winning a championship. What is the reason behind this? The finger can be pointed at a number of things, however if we are truthful, the Hawks have stopped the Hawks from capturing a championship. Ego, selfishness along with other destructive traits that destroy teams at all levels from within has been the Hawks downfall in past seasons. Those were past seasons. This season, although young, has brought a new vibe, a strong sense of team and fresh optimism to the Hawks team. You see players being coachable, buying into the team and putting winning first. the results, a STRONG 2-0 start and first place in the APBL as the lone undefeated team. As with any success and blame with any team, it starts at the top and at the top of the Nova Hawks totem pole is head coach Brian Hall. I had a chance to catch up with Hall to get his take on the Hawks strong start, what it will take to keep the winning going and how the Hawks can capture an APBL championship this season.
FM - What was different about the approach to this season than past seasons?
BH - I believe the approach has always been the same which is to get better and win its just up to players to decide if they want it bad enough to sacrifice individual goals for the betterment of the team.
FM - With two convincing wins to start the season. What are the things as a coach you're happy with?
BH - We have definitely started out strong and going back watching the game film I notice more of a commitment on the defensive side of the ball. I see players that in past years didn't emphasis the defensive side of the ball in their game lead us in charges taken and communicate often on the court. Your best players MUST lead by example. Its still a work in progress though to get all of us on the same page but we are getting there. FM - What are the things you feel the team needs to improve upon?
BH - Rebounding! We have to limit other teams offensive rebounds. We have to stay focused on finding someone to box out. It makes getting into our secondary break that much easier by securing the rebound and pushing before the defense can set up. It sounds so simple but so many teams struggle with it!
FM - Big game against the 4-1 Shuckers coming next. What do the Hawks have to do to walk away 3-0?
BH - Very tough game coming up Saturday Dec 19th as we are on the road for the 1st time this season. We have to execute on the offensive side of the ball and limit turnovers. We have to rebound well and limit their transition offense. Whoever controls the boards and wins the fast break points battle will come out victorious. FM - It appears to be a "team first" attitude this season where in the past there were some who had a "me" first outlook. Has the buying in been key for such a strong start?
BH- Exactly right Cardell! You have been around us from the start so you have seen the earlier years when egos were not associated with the Hawks but as time goes on some players feel they were bigger than the team which is never the case. Some of those players aren't with us anymore and the ones that were heading down that path have given into the "team over talent" mantra. So the locker room has a different feeling. I see guys genuinely pulling for each other and encouraging one another. FM - Finish this. For the Nova Hawks to become APBL champions we have to.........
BH - ......stick together and continue growing as a team. Do the small things that maybe some other teams don't want to do. Be accountable for your decisions on and off the court. If we do those things the X's and O's of the game will take care of itself.