34 Team building

Jason and the team went to the local pizza place with Coach Swendel who borrowed the school van. They ate their fill of pizza before emptying Coach Swendel's wallet by having him buy them tokens to use at the arcade.

After that Jason spent the whole weekend organizing more team-building moments. Jason called up the whole team.

Trell was the only one who hanged up as soon as he heard that they wouldn't be doing anything basketball related.

They spent the whole Saturday watching anime and playing video games at Kyle's house. Kyle's mom was more than happy to cook up her best dishes for her son's friends.

This was the first time that her son had brought any friends over. And despite Kyle's embarrassed pleas she took a ton of photos to commemorate this special moment.

Jason left the other boy who were in the living room playing video games. He walked into the kitchen to refill his glass of lemonade where he bumped into Kyle's mom.

Jason smiled at her "Thank you for having us over Mrs. Robinson." Kyles mom shook her head "You don't need to be so polite child. You can just call me aunty Vee.

Besides, I should be the one thanking you young man. Ever since my boy's been hanging out with you I've seen nothing but good things.

He has more friends now, he's getting some exercise instead of just locking himself up in that room of his, and he seems more confident now.

Don't tell him I told you this but my boy used to be so shy. If a waitress got his order wrong he wouldn't say anything. But now he can actually talk to them and let them know."

Jason was happy to hear that he brought some positive changes to Kyle's life "You don't need to thank me Aunty Vee. I feel like I'm the one who's lucky to be friends with Kyle."

Kyle's mom smiled after hearing Jason say that. She went and hugged him "You are the sweetest little thing. My house is always open to you boys so I hope y'all show your faces often."

The next day Jason called up the team again and organized a group study session to help with any subjects anybody was struggling with and to help with homework.

Once again Trell hung up as soon as he heard that there wasn't anything basketball related. But the rest of the team thought that it was a great idea.

Everyone agreed to meet up at Jason's apartment. Jason's parents were going to be out the whole day and they gave Jason permission to use the apartment.

They were glad to hear that their son was going to be having friends over. It was 11 in the morning when Jason got a text that Kyle was there.

Kyle was the first one to arrive. Jason let him in and told him to make himself at home. After about thirty minutes the rest of the guys from the team showed up.

Jason walked over to the front of the apartments and let them all in. Vince whistled in amazement as he looked around Jason's apartment "Nice place J."

Jason smiled "Thanks Vince. Come on in guys just make sure you take off your shoes." Everyone left their shoes by the front as they walked in.

Jason took them to the living room "Go ahead and sit wherever. Ima go grab my bag and then we can start."

While Jason was getting his bag Udonis unpacked and laid his book and some paper down on the table "You heard the guy. Go ahead and get comfortable."

The rest of the guys took a seat on the floor or on the couch. They all opened up their backpacks and started taking out their books and other things.

Jason came back out and went over to one of the empty spaces "Let's go ahead and get started. Who has something that they want to start with?"

Jason and the rest of the team spent the next few hours doing homework and going over material that they didn't understand in class.

Everyone was impressed by how Jason was easily able to explain the material in a way that they were able to understand. Even Udonis who was one grade higher had to ask Jason for help from time to time.

They were engrossed in their studying until they heard a loud sound. They all turned to Jason as his stomach was growling "Hehe my bad. How bout we take a lunch break? I'm starving."

After a bit of discussion they all agreed on ordering pizza. Jason called a close by pizza place and ordered some delivery.

Jason used the money that Coach Swendel had given him to pay for the pizza. As they were all in the middle of enjoying their gooey cheesy slices the door to the apartment slammed open "Jaya!"

Jason rolled his eyes and facepalmed "Tory! I told you to stop slamming the door." Tory walked in and took a deep breath through her nose.

"Ah! the delicious smell of pizza. You are such a meanie Jaya! How could you order pizza and not invite me!?"

It wasn't until she was done appreciating the aroma of the pizza that she noticed that Jason had some company with him "Oh? Who are you guys?"

She took a look around and recognized Kyle, Matt, and Udonis. After a little bit of thinking, she could guess who the other boys were "Are you the other kids on the basketball team?"

Everyone except Jason gulped as they slowly nodded their heads as they looked at Tory. It was a standard day in California so Tory was wearing a pair of gray shorts and a white Tee.

Jason looked at Tory "I didn't invite you because this is a guy's thing. We're trying to do some team building Tory."

Tory laughed "My bad. Let me just grab a slice real quick and I'll be on my way." She got a paper plate and took 2 slices of pizza before walking out "See ya Jaya! Have fun team building."

A few seconds after the door closed Vince, DJ and Nick jumped to their feet and rushed to Jason. They were asking him about who that girl was.

Jason pushed them off of him and straightened out his shirt "Damn! Why are you guys going crazy? That was just my friend. She lives in the same apartment complex."

They asked all sorts of questions from "What's her name?" to "What's her favorite color?" Jason took a seat on the couch as he rolled his eyes.

"You guys act like you ain't seen a girl before. How come I don't see you guys being this way with the girls at school?"

Nick laughed "You have to be kidding right? There are no girls at the school that are like that." DJ nodded his head "Yeah. The ones at school are girls. But Tory is a woman."

Jason laughed before lightly punching DJ in the shoulder "What do you mean women? She ain't even grown. You guy's probably don't even know what a woman is yet."

The study session went well. As time passed it felt like the guys were slowly getting closer to each other.

They spent the next couple of hours studying. After everyone finished their homework they all started heading home.

Jason cleaned up the apartment. He didn't want his parents to come home to a mess. At 7 his mom came home.

They got a quick bite to eat while they talked about each other's day. Jason's mom was happy to listen to her son.

The next day Jason was in the gym watching the team run a play in practice. After Jason saw one of the guys make a mistake he picked up his whistle and blew it.

Everyone stopped and turned to Jason " Vince you moved to early. You have to make sure you make solid contact with the defender before you start moving or the pick is useless. Run the play again."

The team was practicing the same play when Jason blew his whistle again "Matt you need to guide your defender into the pick. I need you to get active earlier on in the play."

Coach Swendel watched as Jason coached the team 'This kid really is a monster. Forget his court vision when he's on the floor. The way he can direct the team from the sidelines is crazy for his age.

His understanding of the game is crazy. I can already tell that he would coach circles around me. If this kid can learn to win over his teammates' hearts he'll be the perfect floor general.'

After practicing the new plays in their playbook Jason had the guys work on their defense. He had them running drills that focused on some defensive-oriented aspects.

He had them run ladder drills to increase their balance, speed, and quickness in moving in all directions.

He then had them stretch their hips and doing exercises that focused on increasing hip mobility. In defense lateral quickness is a huge factor and hip mobility plays a big part in lateral quickness.

Jason saw that although everyone was tired and fatigued they seemed to be happy and having fun 'We might just be able to make this work. I don't need talent. I just need some dogs who are hungry. And these guys look like they are ready to eat.'

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