Movie builds team bonding |

Movie builds team bonding

While a day off from school is a welcome addition to the calendar for high school athletes, that change in routine does not register as such great happening in the eyes of their coaches.

So when Nevada Union boys basketball coach Jeff Dellis realized exam week fell the same week his team played Metro League rival Kennedy, he was a bit weary about how the schedule might affect his team’s play.

But as it turned out, the day provided Dellis and Duwaine Ganskie, the Nevada Union girls basketball coach, a perfect opportunity for some team building they had been searching for.

When the movie “Hoosiers” came out in 1987, both Dellis and Ganskie remember taking in the movie with their respective teams – an experience that proved to be a strong team-building exercise.

With the recent release of “Glory Road” and the day off of school Friday, the two coaches saw an opportunity to repeat the move.

So Friday morning, Nevada Union girls and boys basketball players, coaches and managers all meet at Paulette’s Country Kitchen for a hearty meal – one that was paid for by a supporter of the programs and what they are striving to achieve.

Coleman Cassell, a 1992 graduate of Nevada Union and former basketball player himself – who owns the nationwide financial solution company based in Nevada County – took care of the bill for both teams.

“My wife is a teacher at Nevada Union and we stay pretty active in the school,” Cassell said. “I just think it’s neat the teams can spend the day together.”

The meal was interrupted, however, by both teams breaking into song – an off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Ganskie.

After lunch was finished, the group wandered over to the Sierra Cinemas where Mike and Barbara Getz, owners of the theaters, were happy to host the entire group in exchange for an ad in the girls basketball game-night program.

“When we play sports movies, inevitably someone from a school contacts us about bringing their players in,” Mike Getz said. “We haven’t had too many sports movies, but when we do, we’re happy to accommodate them.”

Getz remembers hosting teams when “Remember the Titans” came out as well as excitement about the release of “Friday Night Lights.”

“Watching a movie as a team seems to create wonderful camaraderie,” Getz said. “Something about seeing a movie together makes it especially impressive to them.”

While the theater was filled with laughs and smiles throughout the beginning of the film, as the picture became more serious, so did the focus of the audience.

Both teams are currently in the Metro League title hunt and the inspiring movie about the 1966 Texas Western team and its quest for a NCAA Championship no doubt reminded the teams of where they want to be headed a month from now.

I’m a firm believer that teaching a team not only the fundamentals of basketball, but also what it takes to be a teammate and to trust one another are crucial lessons as well. These are thoughts I share with Dellis and Ganskie as well as is evident by the kind of experiences they choose to involved their teams with.

Only time will tell, however, how much, if any, this day will impact both programs.


Sportswriter Stacy Hicklin’s column usually appears on Wednesdays. To contact her via e-mail she can be reached at or 477-4244.

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