3/5/22: The Cottage School Cougars’ Aidan Briggs travelled to Tattnall Square Academy on Saturday to take part in the 2022 GISA All-Star senior basketball game. Aidan was one of thirty out of 75 seniors selected amongst GISA A, AA, and AAA student-athletes. He is the first in school history to play in a GISA All-Star event.
His red and white team won a close 86-84 contest. It would seem to be an exciting match to watch but far from that. Unfortunately, the GISA coaches’ leadership and athlete expectations are more like the modern-day NBA so there were no offensive or defensive schemes. It was acceptable for the kids to play no defense and were allowed to shoot on one pass or with no passes. Oddly, both teams were given two hours to plan and prepare in a practice before the game only to witness a 3-point exhibition. If someone wanted to see the 6’7” guys bang in the paint; forget about it. Entry passes to “post-players” were an afterthought.
What was encouraging for Aidan’s coach’s, Suroy and Richie to witness is that the AAC can proudly say their coaches and kids know how to balance a fun exhibition game while encouraging them to play with the same intensity and fundamental concepts taught all season. This respect for good basketball unfortunately hurt Aidan’s ability to aid his team. The “pick-up” game catered towards the confident, shot-first kids left players with a team concept out to dry. And setting screens or blocking out; forget about it!
Playing time is tough for coaches in a game like this where they have 15 kids to play in just 32 minutes of action. Most of the kids are known amongst the coaches and fellow South Georgia teammates and opponents. The few teams in the north like Solid Rock, Furtah Prep, and TCS are not really known, unless their teams go deep into the state tournament, so may lose playing time. Good for Furtah Prep and Solid Rock for being the top two teams in the state, their kids are known, and they did receive quality minutes and played well.
On average most all the boys received about eight minutes each with about five getting around 12-20 minutes each. Aidan was the one guy that nobody really knew, and the Cougars did not go past the first round of state, so he received just five minutes of action. Aidan played for the John Milledge Academy and Robert Toombs Academy head coaches, and they put him in for two minutes at the end of the second and another three minutes to begin the third period. Despite not having much of an opportunity, Aidan still made his presence known.