Back in 2010, the first Team Esface 6th grade AAU team was formed.
They would later become known as the "First Born Sons" aka "The Inaugural Class" or "Team Esface 1's".
This was one of the most competitive/winningest groups of ballers assembled on the peninsula. Not only was it complete with every piece a team needs, but more importantly the thing that stood out was the mindset each player embodied.
They were hungry and willing to put in work. They would eat. stay hungry. and repeat. This led to many local and even a national championship.
Today I'm going to talk about one of these players who most epitomized this trait, Jeremiah Testa.
He first joined the program as a practice player because he was ineligible to play (based on where he lived). He would come to every practice and give 100%, giving my active roster players fits even though he couldn't play in a game for the entire season.
Eventually, he would join the team and instantly changed the complexion of the team. He was such a hungry, tough player he would ask me if he could stay in a full-court press the entire game... even if we went up 20 and he played most of the game!!
It was this mental toughness, coupled with an unparalleled motor that allowed him to be the starting shooting guard for the first Serra High School State championship team.
3 of the starting 5 members of this team were members of the starting 5 (shout out to the other "first borns" John Besse and Lee Jones, Jr).
To become a champion at any level it takes toughness. But what exactly does this word mean?
Check out my favorite Anti-Softness article "Toughness" written by Jay Bilas to better understand how it looks on the basketball floor.
While you don't have to be the strongest kid to show toughness you've got to know how to use your body. Some ways you can display toughness is on the defensive end... you always have control over your defensive end (unlike your shot always falling)...
Things you have control over on defense:
- A sense of urgency to stop the other team from scoring, not just your man.
- Getting on the floor for a loose ball.
- Taking a charge
- Getting down in a stance and staying there.
Jeremiah did all of the above. That's why no matter how well he did on offense, his toughness on the defensive end made him such a high impact player that I had a hard time taking him out at any point.
All coaches value defense so if you're struggling on offense, you can make a decision TODAY to become a value-add on the defensive end.
Where is Jeremiah Testa now??
With over a 4.0 cumulative HS GPA, he received a full-ride scholarship to Menlo College to play basketball. As a freshman, he came off the bench as a high-impact player, one game even knocking down a game winning three pointer!!! Now he's a consistent contributor to Menlo's College team.
Very proud to be part of Jeremiah's success and watch him grow.
Team Esface Basketball, CEO